Plymouth County Commission Stays Republican, Barnstable County Commission Goes Full Democrat

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One county commission stays with the GOP, and another is now completely in Democratic hands despite having a Republican majority just two years ago.

The Plymouth County Commission will have a new face on it next year, as will the Barnstable County Commission, but they’re from different parties. In Plymouth County, Republican Jared Valanzola of Rockland won a seat with a second place finish while incumbent Republican Ron Beaty of Barnstable was unsuccessful in his re-election bid on Cape Cod.

In Barnstable County, Democrats Mark Forest and Sheila Lyons campaigned together and received similar vote totals to win the race to win the two seats. There were even lawn signs throughout Cape Cod which featured both candidates’ names since people could vote for two candidates, if they wished. Lyons got 68,301 votes (34 percent) while Forest got 66,593 (33.1 percent) and Beaty came in third with 54,010 votes (26.9 percent).

Following the loss, Beaty’s Facebook page “Reelect RON BEATY for Barnstable County Commissioner” was no longer on the site.

However, in Plymouth County, there was a different dynamic. The two Democrats on the ticket, incumbent commissioner Greg Hanley of Pembroke and former commissioner Jack Riordan, were not partners in the race. Riordan, who served on the commission from 2000 to 2012, and Hanley campaigned against each other, and Valanzola was successful in his pursuit to succeed current Republican commissioner Daniel Pallotta of Hanover.

Hanley came in first place in the race, earning 137,982 votes (41 percent) while Valanzola finished second with 105,730 (31 percent). Riordan, who lost the race, received 95,820 votes (28 percent).

Valanzola put out a statement on Wednesday afternoon following his win.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone in Plymouth County who voted for me and helped deliver this victory! I congratulate Greg Hanley on his victory and look forward to serving with him and Sandra Wright. Thank you to Mr. Riordan for running a great campaign, too!
To those state, local, and county leaders who endorsed me, I can’t begin to tell you how much of an honor it was, and is, to have your support. We’re going to work together to do great things for Plymouth County and the towns you work so hard for.
Lastly, thank you to my family, especially my parents, and friends for their tireless work on this campaign. I couldn’t have done it without you, Last and certainly not least, thank you to Korey Welch and most especially Jillian Healy for hosting my family and friends last night so we could watch these results (and my yo-yo-ing mood swings!) and be together.

Hanley and Valanzola will serve alongside Republican Sandra Wright of Bridgewater, who won re-election to her third four-year term in 2018. 

The Plymouth County Commission is the only county commission in the state controlled by Republicans.