Pogue wins Barre town supervisor by 5 votes over Burnside

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 November 2023 at 12:16 pm

File photo: Sean Pogue is shown during a Barre Town Board meeting in November 2019. Pogue has been re-elected to another two-year term.

BARRE – All of the votes have been counted and Sean Pogue has won re-election to Barre town supervisor.

Pogue had a 1-vote lead, 293-292, over Scott Burnside at the end of Nov. 7. That included the votes that day, nine days of early voting and the absentees received at that point.

This morning, the Board of Elections did a manual recount and any absentee ballots received after Nov. 7, but by Nov. 14, were included today.

Pogue picked up four more votes, and won the election, 297-292, over Burnside.

Burnside ran under the Conservative line after losing a Republican Primary in June to Pogue, who has been supervisor for nearly six years and won three previous elections.

Pogue ran as a Republican and also under the “Future for Barre” line. He ran with incumbent board member Margaret Swan and Kirk Mathes, a dairy farmer on the Planning Board.

Mathes had the most votes, 343, of three candidates seeking two positions as council members. Swan had 318 with Kerri Richardson, an incumbent who ran under the Conservative line, finishing with 299.

Pogue said he is grateful to be the victor. He said many of the controversial issues in the town – wind turbines and ambulance services – are outside the Town Board’s control. The state Office of Renewable Energy Siting will determine if the turbine project is approved in Barre. Pogue said he is focused on trying to get the best package financially for the town.

With the ambulance services, Pogue said his goal is having a dependable provider to respond to calls in Barre. The Town Board last week approved a contract with Monroe Ambulance for 2024.

He is aware that some people want him and the Town Board to be more transparent, but Pogue said he strives to answer questions at meetings, and if people call or email him.

“If you ask me anything I’ll give you an answer if I know it,” he said. “People can contact me anytime. My phone number and email are right on the town website. I’ll get back to you within 24 to 48 hours.”

Pogue and Burnside both watched the ballot count by hand today in a conference room at the Orleans County Administration Building. It took nearly two hours for Board of Elections staff to count them and tabulate the votes. Kirk Mathes, Steve Harling and the Orleans Hub editor also were there.

There were 11 ballots where no one voted for the town supervisor. Two other ballots had write-in votes, 1 each for Richard Bennett and Chris Flansburg.

Burnside declined to make a comment after the vote totals were announced. He said he would send a statement later today.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Board of Elections staff do a manual count of the votes for Barre town supervisor and council members this morning. From left include Christine Pask, deputy election commissioner for Republicans; Abby Fitzwater, deputy election commissioner for Democrats; Eileen Aina, deputy election commissioner for Democrats; and Mike Mele, Republican election commissioner. In front on table are Orleans Hub editor’s tallies for the candidates.