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  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Diane Sheehan campaigns outside the Amherst Elementary School during the city election Tuesday, November 8, 2011, in Nashua.

  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja campaigns with her husband, Bogdan Golja outside Bicentennial elementary School during the city election Tuesday, November 8, 2011, in Nashua.

  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS

    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph

    Burt Janz, a Ward 3 Alderman candidate, watches as the numbers roll in on a projection screen at The Nashua Country Club, Tuesday evening.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS

    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph

    Ward 7 State Rep, Dee Hogan analyzes freshly posted numbers for Tuesday night's local election at The Nashua Country Club.
  • Richard Dowd 2011

  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris

    June Caron, left, and Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja, right stand for a portrait in the stacks of the Children's Room of the Nashua Library, Thursday afternoon. Caron and Melizzi-Golja are organizing a back to school event for local students that will take place at the library where each child that attends will get a bag full of school supplies.
  • Daniel Moriarty Nashua alderman Ward 9
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tabacsko-Gallagher alderman’s rematch closer but result same

NASHUA – Voters ushered in three new ward aldermen Tuesday, but none of the races was closer than the rematch from two years ago in Ward 5.

Incumbent Michael Tabacsko again bested Michael Gallagher, this time by only two votes – 460-458. Two years ago, Tabacsko won by seven votes.

“I don’t have a reaction. I expected it to be a close race,” Tabacsko said. “I think it says we both campaigned very hard … and it’s a very close race.”

Gallagher said he left the polling station in Ward 5 and saw results that showed he lost by one vote. When the official tallies were announced at City Hall, the margin was two votes.

If it’s not automatic, Gallagher said he would petition for a recount. Gallagher said he picked up one vote in the recount in the previous election.

Gallagher said there was no point in wondering what could have happened if he had knocked on one more door or shook one more hand.

“You can’t second-guess yourself. I did as much as I could,” he said.

He said living in a “politically connected ward” is a challenge.

“I’m not part of that crowd,” Gallagher said. “But it does indicate that half the people want something different.”

Earlier in the day, voter Jason Gendreau said he voted for Tabacsko after working with him through the ward’s Crime Watch group.

“I stuck with our incumbent,” Gendreau said outside Main Dunstable Elementary School. “I see him involved.”

Tabacsko, 55, has been the ward alderman since 2006. He is a territory manager for CSM Bakery Products.

Gallagher, 34, is a vice president of employee benefits for USI New England, and is an appointed member of the city Conservation Commission.

All three incumbents won re-election in the six contested ward races. Wards 2, 7 and 9 featured races of newcomers.

Voter Nick Mandaraves said outside the Ward 3 polling place at Amherst Street Elementary School that he mostly voted for candidates he knew because there was such a shortage of candidates for most seats.

“Because of the lack of people running, it was who I knew,” he said. “I did vote for someone new at alderman-at-large. Overall, the city’s doing well. The day-to-day is doing well. It’s not right, but you vote on who you’ve seen.”

Ward 3 turned out to be one of the most lopsided races, with incumbent Alderman Diane Sheehan defeating Burton Janz, 615-303.

“I’m excited,” Sheehan said. “I don’t think I was done. I have more stuff to do.”

Sheehan, 44, is completing her first term as ward alderman. She is a stay-at-home mom.

Janz, 57, is a senior software engineer at L3 Communications Corp., and is an adjunct professor at Daniel Webster College. He ran unsuccessfully for the city Fire Commission in the last election.

In a closely observed Ward 8 race, incumbent Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja beat the prior seatholder, David MacLaughlin, 504-400.

The race intrigued many residents because it pitted Melizzi-Golja, a popular former school board member, against MacLaughlin, who had held the Ward 8 seat until 2009 but chose not to run after public backlash over his third arrest for driving while intoxicated.

Melizzi-Golja, 56, served on the Board of Education before winning the ward seat last election. She is a speech pathologist.

MacLaughlin, 46, served as the ward alderman from 2004-09. He works at Men’s Wearhouse in Nashua.

In Ward 2, Richard Dowd, a Board of Education member, handily defeated Michael Aksten, 447-238. Dowd will begin serving later this month because incumbent Richard LaRose, who didn’t seek re-election after 14 years on the board, resigned this month because he moved out of the ward.

“I’m very proud to get the votes from Ward 2,” Dowd said. “I feel I have the respect of the people of Ward 2, and I hope to serve them well.”

Voter Robert Salvo said he backed Dowd after working with him on the Kessler Farm housing development board of directors.

“He does a nice job there and thought he’d do a good job,” Salvo said. “We’ve been very satisfied with him, and I think everyone else will be too.”

Dowd, 65, has served on the Board of Education since 2001. He is a systems engineering functional manager of product support for BAE Systems.

Aksten, 57, is a water treatment plant operator for Pennichuck Water Works. He ran unsuccessfully for this seat in the last election.

In another close race, June Caron, a retired city worker, bested Michelle Spears by 10 votes in Ward 7. Caron won, 398-388. Caron will start her term later this month because the incumbent Richard Flynn died while in office this July.

Caron, 64, retired after working for 41 years in the city Parks and Recreation Department, and was a state representative from 2009-10.

Spears, 32, is a senior database marketing specialist for EMC Corp. This was her first run for political office.

“Hopefully I’ll bring something to the table to move the city in the right direction,” Caron said. “I’m pleased and I hope that I can do my ward proud.”

And in Ward 9, Daniel Moriarty topped Willard Brown, 552-320, to become its new alderman.

Brown, 53, works in technical support for the business service division of Comcast. He is an appointed member of the Nashua Mine Falls Advisory Committee.

Moriarty, 43, is a BAE Systems engineer. He served on the Hollis Strategic Planning Committee from 2005-06, when he lived in that town.

Three wards had incumbents running unopposed: Ward 1 Alderman Kathy Vitale, Ward 4 Alderman Arthur Craffey, and Ward 6 Alderman Paul Chasse.

Albert McKeon can be reached at 594-6528 or Also check out McKeon (@Telegraph_AMcK) on Twitter.