Chee, Hamilton top the results for School Committee

John Costello (left) and David Chee wave to voters outside North Attleborough High School, the polling location for the April 5 Town Election. Chee, along with incumbent Ethan Hamilton, won two seats on the School Committee, the sole contested race. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max

In a close race—and the only contested one this year—David Chee and Ethan Hamilton won seats on the School Committee.

Chee, who has had years of service on several North Attleborough boards, was the top vote-getter with 448. Hamilton came in a close second with 427. John Costello, who was seeking a second term, received 404 votes and Charles Dobre-Badobre saw 223 in his first foray into local politics.

Out of the 21,974 registered votes, only 816 made it to the polls—less than 4 percent—for the April 5 Town Election.

Chee, speaking after the results were announced, said the closeness of the race wasn’t a shock, as the low turnout can lead to such an outcome. He credited the other candidates with making a tremendous effort, particularly Dobre-Badobre.

“Standing up as you folks know, standing outside in the cold for 10 hours, we never know whether it’s going to make a difference in one vote or not but we do it anyways in appreciation,” said Chee. “And hopefully it helped.”

Chee said that reaching out to former RTM members helped during the campaign. He said many are still in North Attleborough and it was great to speak with them. He also made a number of phone calls, sometimes just getting an answering machine. On his past experience—which includes the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Finance Committee—he said it would be of benefit during the budget process.

“We certainly will push for everything we can because the better the product, I feel, the stronger the community,” said Chee.

Hamilton thought the results would be close, adding that all the candidates were good choices. In the past Hamilton said he only wishes to serve one more term. Speaking at NorthTV, he explained that after awhile a person can lose a sense of objectivity, not questioning the decisions of those they’re working with.

“You become a friend and you lose that ability to judge them on their performance and start judging them as a person, and you know, I don’t want to be in that position,” said Hamilton.

When asked about his campaign, Hamilton took to social media to get the message out and encourage people to vote. He joked that some of the people he connected with were unaware the election was even happening.

“As a candidate, I don’t think that we did enough to promote the election,” said Hamilton. “So it’s something that future candidates should learn from so we don’t have 816 voters come out next time.”

In a statement, Costello congratulated Chee and Hamilton on their victories and Dobre-Badobre for a hard-fought campaign. He added that losing is disappointing, but thanked his supporters for their confidence.

“I have learned a lot and will always value the experience,” said Costello.

Dobre-Badobre said he wasn’t at all disappointed by the results, that before the election, no one knew him.

“So for me, an outsider, coming in and pulling these numbers, I’m happy,” he said.
When asked if this marked the end of his involvement in local government, Dobre-Badobre enthusiastically said it was not.

“Like they like to say, I was just getting my feet wet,” he said. “I’ve definitely got the temperature and now we can dive in.”