Two Bridgewater town councilors lose seats in recall election

Two Bridgewater town councilors were removed from office and replaced by their challengers Tuesday, marking the end of a yearlong recall effort by a local group unhappy with the incumbents.

In District 3, Sandra Wright, a Board of Health member and Plymouth County commissioner, secured 879 votes to Councilor Michael Demos’s 730. In District 7, Paul Sullivan, a former town administrator and selectman, gained 570 votes to Councilor Peter Riordan’s 337. 

The new councilors will take their seats for the first time Tuesday.

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The drive to dump Demos and Riordan began in September 2011, initiated by the group Citizens Forum, which viewed the pair as leaders in a power struggle between then-Town Manager Troy Clarkson and the Town Council. 

Initial recall petitions did not meet the town’s bylaw requirements. A second recall drive was launched, with petitions submitted in late February. When the Town Council questioned the legality of a 1990 recall provision being invoked and refused to schedule an election, Town Clerk Ron Adams asked Brockton Superior Court for a ruling. In August, a judge ordered the council to set the election date.

“It was gratifying to find Precincts 3 and 7 were with us in this,” said resident Mel Shea of the election results. “It wasn’t just a small army of a few dozen, but hundreds of voters who supported it.”

Christine Legere