Cohen beats Rutan in Northborough selectmen race

Supporters of Mitch Cohen, Bryce MacKnight and Bill Pierce campaign outside of Melican Middle School on Tuesday. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – A new face is coming to the Northborough Board of Selectmen.

Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday. Unofficial results then released on Tuesday night showed Mitch Cohen with a lead in a three-way race for a seat on the board. 

In winning this race, Cohen will unseat incumbent Selectman Leslie Rutan, who is the board’s current Vice Chair.

A self-professed “local government nerd,” Cohen spent six years as a selectman in Douglas until 2012.

Mitch Cohen campaigns for his election to the Board of Selectmen outside of Melican Middle School. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

Cohen later moved to Northborough and has since served in multiple roles in town government, including a position as Vice Chair of the Library Board of Trustees. He is also served as Chair of the Municipal Code and By-Law Committee and was a member of the Fire Station Feasibility Study Committee. 

Rutan has served on the Board of Selectmen since 2004. Prior to her election, Rutan was a member and chair of the Northborough School Committee from 2000 through 2004.

Cohen led in the unofficial count with 1,085 votes. 

Rutan came in second place with 886 votes.

Tom Dalton amassed 37 votes. 

Planning Board, School Committee results

Bill, who is running for Northborough Planning Board, and Moira Pierce campaign outside of Melican Middle School. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

As Cohen led the unofficial tally in the selectmen race, William Pierce led in the race to replace longtime member Michelle Gillespie on the Planning Board, with unofficial results showing Pierce taking the win over Jon Lien.

Incumbent Joan Frank held the advantage in a race against William Barlow Redfern II for a Northborough seat on the Regional School Committee, according to unofficial Northborough results.

Southborough votes will also be counted in the Regional School Committee tally, though. Those results were not available as of 9:15 p.m.

Back in Northborough, Bryce Adam MacKnight appeared set to win a term on the Northborough K-8 School Committee after a campaign that also saw Gigi Howell throw her hat in the ring.

MacKnight rises to the Northborough School Committee after incumbent Keith Lebel opted against running for re-election.

As the School Committee, Planning Board and Board of Selectmen settled contested races, a pair of uncontested races were also on the ballot. Among them, Fred George secured another term as Moderator while Matthew Spencer won a new term as one of Southborough’s representatives on the Regional School Committee.

Spencer is a newcomer to that board, replacing Daniel Kolenda, who did not run for re-election this year.

Turnout in this election was 17.38%, according to unofficial results.

Full results


Leslie Rutan – 886

Mitch Cohen – 1,085

Tom Dalton – 37


Jon Lien – 966

Bill Pierce – 1,012

Write-in – 3


Gigi Howell – 703

Bryce MacKnight – 1,143

Write-in – 7


Joan Frank – 1,272

William Barlow Redfern II – 665

Write-in – 3


Matthew Spencer – 1,442

Write-in – 17


Fred George – 1,475

Write-in – 237

*Southborough votes will also be counted in the Regional School Committee tally. Those results were not available as of 9:15 p.m.


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