After a long and hard fought campaign, Bob and Blanche Persons shared a joyful moment at the Polish American Hall. Police Chief Bill Kilfoil announced the results of the 1997 PWPD Special District Election: Bob Persons-753; Peter Kenny-615.
Out of a possible 11,289 registered voters in the special district, approximately 12 percent came out to vote this year.
The Port News took a random exit poll and here's what the electorate had to say about their choices:
John Maher-"I voted for Bob Persons because he's intelligent, will improve efficiency and donate his earnings to the Community Chest."
Barry Loeb- "Experience is important and Kenny has done a very good job. We need him to guide us out of the problems he started to clean up. We've already seen that he can do a good job; therefore, he should be re-elected."
Several people asked not to be identified but had the following comments:
For Kenny-He can do a better job;
For Persons-He sounds like a man of integrity, a worthy candidate.
Mrs. Persons says that the new commissioner's first official duty at home will be to clear his campaign literature off the dining room table so that she can have the room back. And, her first official duty as Mrs. Commissioner was "to leave the Polish Hall and go home and call the kids."
When asked what he felt "won" the election for him, Mr. Persons replied "an informed electorate."
Mr. Persons will be sworn in for his three-year term on January 1, 1998, at 12 noon at Police Headquarters on Port Blvd. However, at press time, it was learned that Mr. Persons will have a special swearing in on Dec. 16 to fill the unexpired term of Police Commissioner Peter Kenny. This is due to the fact that Commissioner Kenny resigned on Wednesday, Dec. 10, the day after the election and three weeks before his term officially expired.