SHERMAN — Incumbent Republican Clay Cope won re-election Tuesday to a third term as first selectman, beating Democratic challenger Don Lowe by some 80 votes out of more than 1,300 cast.

But Lowe got enough votes to claim a seat on the board of selectmen, along with GOP incumbent Robert Ostrosky.

“I appreciate the voters’ confidence in my team,” Cope said. “We will continue to lead the town forward, as we have, with good, clean government.

“I am absolutely ready to serve with Don Lowe,” Cope added.

“The voters have spoken,” Lowe said. “I think we ran a good campaign, but it’s hard to get a bipartisan message through in this town. I look forward to serving the town I love.”

The final vote was 704 votes for Cope and 621 for Lowe. Ostrosky received 732 votes. Democrat Ashleigh Blake fell short with 593 votes.

Cope, 53, had listed among his accomplishments the restoration of the town’s bond rating by increasing the balance in the capital reserve fund, which he said had been depleted by the previous administration. He also said he brought a fiscally conservative approach to the budget while maintaining town services. He oversaw completion of the long-stalled Emergency Services Facility and continues to champion senior housing as a way to allow the town’s residents to “age in place,” he said.

Lowe, 57, who served previously as selectman and on several other town boards, said he would bring a long background in public service if elected. He faulted Cope for a lack of leadership on key issues, and promised to be engaged, available and supportive in the first selectman’s role. Among his goals were addressing the lack of cell service in the southern area of the town, developing senior housing and reining in spending in the town operating budget.

Both candidates supported maintaining Sherman’s rural character and preserving the health and economic viability of Candlewood Lake by supporting the Candlewood Lake Authority.

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