Newcomers win two seats on Select Board, one on School Committee in Concord election

April 9, 2024

By Celeste Katz Marston —

Concord’s Select Board will have two new members and the School Committee will have one, according to unofficial results of Tuesday’s town election

In the competitive Select Board contest, Cameron McKennitt, an energy executive, and Wendy Rovelli, a veteran of the finance and managed care sectors, edged current board Chair Henry Dane and data company CEO Joe Laurin. 

McKennitt received 2,060 votes, with 1,970 for Rovelli, 1,767 for Dane, and 1,616 for Laurin. 

In the two-seat School Committee race, incumbent and current Chair Tracey Marano led the pack with 2,847 votes. She’ll be joined in office by water systems company COO Andrew Herchek, who netted 2,336. Personnel Board Co-Chair Liz Cobbs received 1,945 votes. 


Rovelli and McKennitt will replace the outgoing Dane and Select Board member Linda Escobedo, who is completing her second term.

Cameron McKennitt. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

McKennitt said he looks forward to working with Rovelli “and the rest of the Select Board as we all work to make Concord the best it can be.”

In a late Tuesday email, he continued, “I am excited about the opportunity to represent Concord on the Select Board. I am very appreciative of all the support I received, particularly from my wife and campaign manager, Martha.”

McKennitt, who grew up in Thoreau Hills and whose four kids attended Concord schools, added that he was “grateful that I had the opportunity to campaign alongside Joe Laurin, Wendy Rovelli, and Henry Dane.

“They were strong representatives and advocates for Concord every step of the way.”

Wendy Rovelli. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Concord-born Rovelli is a former Finance Committee chair whose public service also includes time on the town’s Municipal Light Board and Solar Implementation Task Force.

“I am very grateful for the vote of confidence from the community and look forward to working with Cam and the rest of the Select Board,” Rovelli told The Bridge early Wednesday. 

“I was surprised by the high voter turnout and hope that speaks to increasing citizen engagement in local issues,” she said.

“Speaking with individuals on issues was truly one of the most rewarding aspects of campaigning.” 

On the School Committee, Marano will serve another term and Herchek will succeed Court Booth, whose term expires this year and who had endorsed Cobbs.

Marano told The Concord Bridge via email after the results came in that she’s “thrilled to continue to advocate for students” on the School Committee.

Tracey Marano. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

“Ensuring that the academic success and mental well-being of our students in Concord, Carlisle, and Boston are the center of our School Committee work is my top priority,” she said.

“I’m so thrilled to have diverse supporters — and I’m so grateful for their continued and tireless support. We’re all united in prioritizing students, while also being mindful of seniors and taxpayers.”

Marano thanked her husband, Marc, her kids, and her family and friends for supporting her in the campaign, adding, “I am looking forward to welcoming Andrew Herchek onto the School Committee and I congratulate Liz Cobbs on a well-run campaign.”

Herchek — whose children are third-generation students of Concord public schools, told The Bridge, “It’s been a busy few months, and I’m so thankful for the support of my friends and family.”

Andrew Herchek. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

He added in his email, “I’m really honored to take on this role and will do everything I can to ensure great outcomes for all the kids in our district.”

Herchek offered “special thanks” to the School Committee’s Alexa Anderson, Carrie Rankin, and Marano, “whose insight and guidance have been invaluable,” and said he looked forward to working with them, the rest of the committee, and Superintendent Laurie Hunter in the years ahead. 

“I also want to commend Liz Cobbs for running a solid campaign and for volunteering her time to serve our schools,” he said.  

Dane, in an email, told The Bridge “it was something of a fluke that I was elected three years ago, and in that time I have accomplished more than I ever expected.

Current Select Board Chair Henry Dane. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

“Since, if re-elected, I would not continue as chair, there is much to be said for going out at the top even though it would not have been my choice. A mark of our success is the large number of credible candidates and the unprecedented voter turnout in this  election,” he added.

“I am very ready to resume civilian life and to enjoy the company of the friends I have made during my time on the board. Many in my position say that they intend to remain involved, but they rarely do. I will not say it, and probably mean it,” the longtime attorney said.

“I have enormous gratitude to those who have recognized my dedication and ability, and hope to find other ways in which I can serve them. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.” 

Town Moderator Carmin Reiss and Housing Authority member Edward Larner, who both ran unopposed for re-election, received 3,486 and 3,318 votes respectively in the unofficial tally. 

Select Board and School Committee members serve three-year terms. The moderator serves for one year. Housing Authority members have five-year terms.

In the Select Board race, per Tuesday night’s tally, which must still be certified, 1,141 voters left their ballot blank, as did 1,425 voters in the School Committee race.

Turning out

A total of 4,283 voters, or 31% of registered voters, cast ballots per the unofficial results.

According to historical statistics maintained by the town, local elections in Concord — as elsewhere — traditionally draw a much lower percentage of registered voters than federal races. 

Just 14% of registered voters cast ballots in town elections in March 2023 and 2021, and a mere 5% voted in the April 2022 contests.

But a whopping 87% of registered voters showed up to cast a ballot for president in November 2020 and 69% voted in the November 2022 state election. 

Tapes from early April voting machine tests. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

“One of the remarkable disconnects in Concord is the importance of our local elections versus the number of citizens who actually vote,” said Diane Proctor of the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle. 

“Past figures find a significant disparity between those eligible and those who cast ballots,” Proctor said. “In any case, our town’s future character and fiscal balance depend upon whom we select to represent us.”

Tuesday’s election results will be certified no later than Saturday, according to Town Clerk Kaari Mai Tari. 

New terms for public office take effect after the conclusion of Town Meeting, which begins April 29.