Souza wins special election for Somerset Select Board

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SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Kathy Souza has won the special election for Somerset Select Board, according to results compiled by the town clerk.

Souza defeated Melissa Terra by a vote of 1,200 to 902, giving Souza about 57% of the vote overall. Souza will hold the seat until April, when the next regular municipal election takes place.

Less than 16% of Somerset’s 13,608 registered voters went to the polls to cast a ballot in the election, which was dominated by debate over the future of Brayton Point pier.

The Brayton Point power plant was closed in 2017 and later demolished, robbing the town of its biggest source of tax revenue. Currently, the site is being used as a scrap metal business, angering some neighbors because of its noise and truck traffic.

Target 12 talked to the two candidates last week. Both agreed that wind energy development is the best long-term plan for the pier, but recognized it would likely take four years or more to get one up and running. 

Souza, a leader of the group Save Our Bay Brayton Point, said she wants the state to step in and push out the scrap metal business. Terra said she likes the idea of small businesses using the pier, but wanted to hear from the community about what should be done. 

The special election only happened due to the resignation of the previous Select Board member, Holly McNamara, who cited the current negativity in Somerset as her reason for stepping down.

Ted Nesi contributed to this report.

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