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Harvard Ed School student Francis X. Hayes made a strong showing in his political debut Tuesday, as he gained the fifth highest vote in a field of 14 candidates for the Cambridge School Committee.
Yesterday's initial, unofficial count by the City's Election Commission showed Hayes had a total of 2385 "number one" votes, just enough to put him ahead of incumbent School Committeeman John A. P. Good, who finished sixth with 2382.
If Hayes continues his strong showing as ballots are redistributed under the City's complex electoral system, the Cambridge native who is trying to bridge the gap between University and City stands an excellent chance of election to the School Committee.
First Three Places
Incumbent School Committeeman David Wylie, James F. Fitzgerald, and Francis H. Duehay '55, assistant dean of the Graduate School of Education, finished in the first three places in the initial count with totals of 3012 votes, 3000 votes, and 2731 votes, respectively. The three are expected to have little trouble gaining the 3532 votes needed for election as the Election Commission goes through the complex process of eliminating low-ranking candidates, re-distributing their ballots to "number two" candidates, until six of the candidates have met the quota.
Challenger Joseph E. Maynard finished fourth with 2494 votes. After him came Hayes, Good, and then newcomers Lorraine A. Butler (seventh with 2251) and Donald A. Fantini (eighth with 2101).
Hayes spent most of yesterday afternoon watching his ballots being counted. Though at times he nervously joked, "I should have gone to that class," by the end of the afternoon his face broke into a broad smile. Taking advantage of his "townie" birth and Harvard affiliation, Hayes ran well throughout Cambridge-an unusual feat for a first time candidate in a city where elections, though run at-large, generally are decided by tight-knit neighborhood support.
The initial count also raised the possibility that the Cambridge Civic Associa-
tion (CCA), a local good-government association, may gain a prize it has long sought-a majority of seats on the School Committee.
Of the top four finishers in yesterday's count, two-Wylie and Duehay-are CCA-endorsed: the others-Fitzgerald and Maynard-are "independents" (non-CCA). Fewer than 400 votes, however, separate the fifth-ranking candidate from the eighth, and of those candidates, all but Good are CCA-endorsed.
Though the two groups are more loose electoral coalitions than political parties. there has been sharp division between the CCA and independents on the School Committee in recent years. CCA School Committeemen have charged that the independent domination has led to a gradual decline in the quality of Cambridge public Schools.
In past years, three candidates endorsed by the CCA and three independents have won election to the committee. For the past four years, the city's mayor, who chairs the committee and easts the deciding vote there, has been an independent, giving them a 4-3 edge overall.
For the most part, the CCA candidates strong showing yesterday in this year's election seems due to the fact that three of them-Hayes. Mrs. Butler and Fantini-had strong bases of their own in addition to the upper-middle class and University-affiliated voters who normally form the backbone of the CCA's vote.
In order for four CCA candidates to be elected, however, that support from non-CCA voters will have to continue into the "number two" and "number three" selections by voters, and some observers doubt that this will happen.
There were no developments in the race for City Council yesterday as the election commission merely merely validated the results of Wednesday's unofficial count.
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