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Four RTM Incumbents Ousted; 14 New Faces on 36-Member Body

The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) is getting a new look thanks to Tuesdays election.

Among the missing will be four incumbents who failed in their re-election bids. There will be 14 newcomers among those who will make up the 36-member body to be sworn in Nov. 17. Ten incumbents decided not to seek re-election.

Those defeated included 10-year RTM veteran Stephen Rubin in District 7. He also failed in his run as a petitioning candidate for the Board of Education despite having raised more money through individual contributions than any other candidate.

Rubin won 304 votes in his RTM race, 29 short of the next highest candidate, John Watson, who collected 333.

Also losing their seats were Gerald Bodell, who was first elected to the RTM in 1999 and who was redistricted this year from District 4 to District 1,  George Franciscovich, who was serving his first term in District 4, and Ralph Hymans in District 5, who also lost his bid for a Republican seat on the Board of Finance.

Hymans has served eight years on the RTM—from 1991-93, 1995-99, and from 2001 to present.

Bodell had been serving as chair of the RTM Public Protection Committee following the resignation for health reasons of longtime chair Irwin Donenfeld, who did not seek re-election this year in District 8.

Donenfeld was first elected to the RTM in 1981 and was its longest serving member.

The highest RTM vote getter was Dr. Lisa Rome in District 7 with 416 votes, followed by District 9 newcomers Joe Mioli with 411 votes and Kim Mathias with 405.

In District 8, with only three incumbents on the ballot seeking re-election, there was a spirited battle among write-in candidates. Jonathan Steinberg beat out three rivals for the fourth spot.

Of two former RTM members seeking to rejoin the body, Judith Starr succeeded in District 1. She had served on the RTM from 1985 to 1987. Failing for another term was Michael Gilbertie in the new District 9. He had previously served on the RTM from 1999 to 2001.

The current RTM will have its last meeting of this session on Wednesday, Nov. 12, one day later than originally scheduled because of the Veterans Day holiday.

EditorҒs Note; The editor of WestportNow was one of the RTM incumbents re-elected in District 8.

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