Credit: Needham Observer

Incumbent Kevin Keane topped the ticket in all 10 town precincts and comfortably won re-election to the Select Board in Tuesday’s town election. 

Joshua Levy, who narrowly defeated Tina Burgos by 152 out of 4,862 votes cast, will join Keane on the board. Levy will fill the seat vacated by outgoing member Marcus Nelson. 

Levy reversed his outcome from the 2023 election, when he fell short by more than 400 votes behind incumbent Marianne Cooley and Cathy Dowd. 

Tuesday’s turnout represented about 20% of the town’s registered voters, a nearly 40% increase from last year perhaps due to the new mail-in voting option. More than 5,000 registered voters requested mail-in ballots. 

Keane received support from nearly two in three voters and outdistanced Levy by more than 600 votes. He carried every precinct except Precinct A, where he and Levy tied. 

“It was a great race and it was a civil race,” Keane wrote in a statement. “It’s a unique experience to talk to the people you’re running against, but there’s a certain civility to it. Campaigning is hard, but at the same time it’s really energizing.” 

Levy outpolled Burgos in eight of ten precincts, with Burgos topping Levy in Precinct E and G. Asked what was different between this year and last, Levy said he felt he ran a more thorough campaign and maintained momentum to the end. 

“I got more materials out — postcards, mailers and flyers,” he said. “And I pounded the pavement even more than I did last year.” 

“As the campaign went on, I found new supporters who I was able to talk to and whose support I was able to earn.” 

While Levy had the experience of having run for Select Board just a year ago, Burgos was running her first campaign.

“As a newcomer to the world of politics, this was uncharted territory,” she shared in a statement. “I couldn’t have done it without everyone who hosted signs, came out to learn more about me, helped spread information about my campaign and generally take the time and take an interest.” 

Levy will be sworn in at next Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, where Keane is expected to be elected to serve as the chair. 

In the only other contested race on Tuesday’s ballot, Jim Flanagan handily won election to the Needham Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, earning 71.3% of the vote to defeat Ross Donald.

Voters also overwhelmingly voted to remove the Needham Fire Department from the state Civil Service, 3,382 to 742.

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