Mr. Mannal Wins Second Barnstable Contest, Unseats Mr. Atsalis
By: Laura M. Reckford
In what is being looked at as a major upset, Brian Mannal of Centerville has defeated Demetrius Atsalis of Hyannis in the Second Barnstable District primary election by more than 300 votes.
The preliminary results show Mr. Mannal winning with 2,058 votes to Mr. Atsalis's 1,621 in Precincts 2-10 and 13 and the two Yarmouth precincts that are also in the district.
There was no Republican on the ballot, so the primary win makes Mr. Mannal, a local attorney, the presumed winner of the general election in November as well.
Mr. Mannal received the news from his opponent, Mr. Atsalis. At just after 8:30 PM Thursday night, shortly after arriving at Gringo's Mexican Restaurant on Main Street in Hyannis to await the results with his supporters, Mr. Mannal was called to the restaurant's telephone.
It was Mr. Atsalis, the 14-year incumbent of the seat, conceding the race, Mr. Mannal reported to his supporters.
Mr. Atsalis was the senior member of the Cape delegation on Beacon Hill.
Mr. Mannal, who said he was just hoping that the results were not embarrassing in his defeat, was then in the unexpected position of celebrating a win.
Mr. Mannal said he was humbled by the win and thanked his family and his supporters, as well as all the people who welcomed him into their homes as he was campaigning. He said he knocked on 2,500 doors in the district, which includes 10 precincts in the Town of Barnstable, as well as two precincts in Yarmouth.
Mr. Atsalis called his term in office "a good 14 years" and said he would take his father's advice and start fresh tomorrow. "I wished him good luck," Mr. Atsalis said of Mr. Mannal.
The two men ran a contentious race, but Mr. Mannal said Mr. Atsalis was gracious in defeat.
Mr. Atsalis said Mr. Mannal seemed surprised by the call conceding the race. "I said, I'm not the person you portrayed. I have ethics," Mr. Atsalis said.
About 20 percent of Barnstable's registered voters cast ballots in today's primary election, according to Barnstable Town Clerk Linda Hutchenrider.
For full story, see Friday's edition of The Barnstable Enterprise.
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