By Robert Mills

and Maclane Walsh

MediaNews

GROTON -- Joshua Degen and Stuart Schulman handily won re-election to the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night, while David Crocker won a rare heated race for a position on the Water Commission.

Schulman topped the ticket for the Board of Selectmen with 926 votes. Degen came in second in the race for two open seats with 885, and challenger Justin Halleran finished with 528 votes. Halleran had withdrawn from the race too late to have his name removed from the ballot.

The race to be a Water Commissioner was the only other contested race on the ballot, with David Crocker taking the seat, 596 votes to Mark Deuger's 481.

The Water Commissioner race took on unusual significance after Town Meeting rejected a proposal to install sewer lines in the Lost Lake neighborhood so residents could get rid of septic systems which some say contribute to a weed problem in Lost Lake.

Neither candidate expressed alternative solutions to the issues, though. Residents with whom The Sun spoke on Tuesday said they had little to say about the town election races, saying most of the races were unopposed or that they were not versed in local issues.

Those voting in the special U.S. Senate election said they preferred Gabriel Gomez on the Republican ticket. Residents John Murphy and Anne Riemer said they thought Gomez would give Republicans the best chance to win the Senate seat in a general election. Murphy said: "He's young, good in business, served his country and he's an immigrant," said resident John Murphy.

Resident Steve Burne said he voted for Gomez because, "I think he presents himself well. I voted for him even though I think Markey will end up winning."

On the Democrat side, voters were divided between U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch.

"I like his positions. I could of gone with either one (on the Democratic ballot), but I like Markey," Larry Gresock said. Karen Vanderborgh said she voted for Markey for his progressive policies.

Willie Ewing saying he voted for Markey because "Lynch is a knucklehead."

Michael Babim said, "Lynch is an outside guy who will represent more of the middle class while Markey is more of an insider." Others interviewed said they voted for Lynch because they did not trust Markey. Dan Johnson said he did not see any other viable candidates, adding, "I don't like Ed Markey."