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In unusual Ward 3 race, Jan McClure keeps city council seat

(Left to right) Rick Cibotti, Jan McClure and Jennifer Kretovic stand outside the Beaver Meadow Golf Course club house on Tuesday afternoon, November 5, 2013 greeting voters as they arrive to cast their ballot for the Concord city election. McClure was the incumbent councilor for the ward but after redistricting Ward 2 councilor Kretovic decided to run for re-election in Ward 3, her new ward. 

(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

(Left to right) Rick Cibotti, Jan McClure and Jennifer Kretovic stand outside the Beaver Meadow Golf Course club house on Tuesday afternoon, November 5, 2013 greeting voters as they arrive to cast their ballot for the Concord city election. McClure was the incumbent councilor for the ward but after redistricting Ward 2 councilor Kretovic decided to run for re-election in Ward 3, her new ward. (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

Jan McClure held onto her seat as the Ward 3 city councilor yesterday, earning 49 more votes than Ward 2 Councilor Jennifer Kretovic in an unusual race between two incumbents.

McClure and Kretovic have sat next to each other at city council meetings for the past two years. Redistricting moved Kretovic into McClure’s ward in 2012, and both women filed to run for the same seat this fall.

In January, only McClure will return to the city council chambers.

“I’m just delighted to be able to serve for another two years,” she said last night.

McClure earned 51 percent of the vote, or 220 votes, while Kretovic had 171 votes and a third candidate, Rick Cibotti, earned 40 votes, according to initial results from the city clerk’s office last night.

Kretovic, 49, was elected in Ward 2 in 2011. But when redistricting took effect in 2012, her neighborhood was moved to Ward 3. A special ballot question passed by voters in 2011 allowed her to continue serving as the Ward 2 councilor.

Last night, Kretovic said she was disappointed in the outcome and noted that McClure did not even stay at the polling location until the votes were tallied. That is “pretty much par for her for the course of the last two years,” Kretovic said, accusing her opponent of not working as hard as she does on the city council.

“Jan worked really hard for this election, and it’s the only one she’s ever worked hard for,” Kretovic said. “I worked hard, too, but I’ve worked hard for every election.”

McClure has been the Ward 3 councilor for the past decade. The 60-year-old District Five Road resident was first elected to the council on a write-in campaign in 2003.

This was 59-year-old Cibotti’s second run for city council. He ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat in 2009.

“I’m thankful for everyone that supported me,” he said last night. “And I had an awesome time.”

Outside the Beaver Meadow Golf Course clubhouse yesterday afternoon, each candidate stood with signs. Kretovic and McClure did not speak to each other as they greeted voters.

On a nearby table sat Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and doughnuts that they said came from Steve Duprey, a developer and Ward 3 resident who had publicly expressed support for McClure.

McClure held a red-and-white sign that read “I stand with Jan” across the top.

Just feet away, Kretovic stood next to her campaign sign with a note on top that read “Vote today for Jenny K.” She also had several handwritten signs, including one that said “I 2 am an incumbent,” a reference to her current position as the Ward 2 councilor.

Last night, Kretovic vowed to remain involved in city government and run for the council again in two years.

“Of course I’m coming back,” she said. “That would be ridiculous . . . why wouldn’t I? . . . I still have eight committees that I serve on, that I served on prior to being on the council. I don’t go away, it just means that I have one less meeting, one less vote.”

McClure noted that she was happy to see a higher voter turnout in Ward 3 this year than in the last municipal election.

“I’m very pleased,” she said. “I really thank everybody, all the constituents and everyone in Ward 3 that voted for me, and also all those who voted at all. So it was, I think, a real testimony to the work that the council has done that we increased the number of people that voted in Ward 3 . . . we almost doubled it.”

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

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