Hyatt, DuQuenne roll to City Council wins
Paula Hyatt and Gina DuQuenne rolled to decisive victories to pick up two of the three City Council positions up for grabs in Ashland, while a third race between four challengers had narrowed to a two-person race and was too close to call at press time.
With 78.3% of the votes counted, Hyatt had amassed a sizable lead over Andrew Card for position No. 1, tallying 7,972 votes (67.34%) to Card’s 3,832 (32.3%).
DuQuenne’s win over Jessica Kensinger for position No. 5 was even more decisive, as the Ashland Housing and Human Services commissioner had 8,416 votes (71.94%) to Kensinger’s 3,213 (27.5%).
Hyatt will take over for Councilman Dennis Slattery in January, while DuQuenne will take Rich Rosenthal’s spot.
The race for position No. 3 was still up for grabs late Tuesday night, with Shaun Moran holding a lead over Julian Bell, 4,835 votes (40.22%) to 4,253 (35.38%). Also running for that spot was Kelly Marcotulli, who captured 1,750 votes, and Gerardo Padilla (1,151 votes).
Hyatt, a senior account manager and financial analyst, ran on a fiscally sustainable budget and a vow to take action to increase affordable housing, among other issues. She was elated after seeing the early results Tuesday.
“Humbled,” she said of her initial reaction, “because I have to say, this race has given me the privilege to speak with many of Ashland’s residents, and they have been kind in sharing their ideas in what has been working for them and what has not been working for them, and I take that very seriously. ... I am especially thankful to the voters of Ashland for stepping up and stepping out and casting their votes.”
Hyatt tipped her hat to Card, owner of Oberon’s Restaurant and Bar.
“(Card) is a wonderful individual who put forth the time and the commitment and the energy that these races take, and that’s considerable.”
Hyatt, Ashland Budget Committee chair in 2019, believes her experience put her over the top.
“Well, I hope they understood through my service record with regard to the Budget Committee and other efforts within Ashland who I am as an individual and how I do feel that our budget is a key issue and one in which I am well versed and ready to work,” she said.
DuQuenne echoed Hyatt’s enthusiasm after seeing the results.
“I’m very excited; we were in it to win it,” she said. “I feel very grateful to all the people who supported me and to my fabulous team. They were awesome, totally rocked it. And I’m kind of speechless right now and I’m never speechless.
“I’m so grateful that I get to be of service to the people of Ashland. And I’m grateful that I’m able to kick the door open for Black and Brown people. And I’m excited for the next four years and excited to see where we’re going to go. This is a wonderful opportunity for Ashland to grow, and I look forward to it.”
DuQuenne said her sincerity may have helped her connect with voters.
“All I can say is I come from my heart, I come from my gut, I keep it real,” she said. “And I’ve been around for a little bit and people know me for the work that I’ve done. And apparently they have faith in me, and that makes me so grateful and proud. ... I’m going to work the best that I can to represent the people of Ashland and to listen to them.”
Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-821-0829 or email@example.com.