DeSorgher victorious: Greenfield mayor-elect defeats Wedegartner, winning every precinct

  • Virginia “Ginny” DeSorgher thanks her supporters at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center Tuesday evening. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Virginia “Ginny” DeSorgher gets the call from the polls that she had the numbers to win the Greenfield mayoral race shortly after 8 p.m. at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center Tuesday evening. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner talks with Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh Jr. at Smitty’s Pub before receiving election results. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Virginia “Ginny” DeSorgher thanks her supporters at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center Tuesday evening. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Charles “Chuck” Green upon hearing that he won his assessors seat at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center on Tuesday evening. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Virginia “Ginny” DeSorgher announces to those gathered at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center that she has won the Greenfield mayoral race shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Ann Childs and Stacey Sexton won seats on the School Committee and were on hand at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center on Tuesday evening. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, right, with Administrative Assistant Caitlin von Schmidt and former chief of staff Dani Letourneau at Smitty’s Pub in Greenfield shortly after receiving election results. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 11/7/2023 9:44:40 PM

GREENFIELD — After years of rising through the ranks of municipal government, Virginia “Ginny” DeSorgher will serve as the city’s fourth mayor with a convincing victory in Tuesday’s election.

DeSorgher defeated incumbent Roxann Wedegartner for a four-year term with 3,104 votes to Wedegartner’s 1,144 votes, according to unofficial election results. The election, which included races for vacancies on City Council, School Committee and the Board of Assessors, took place at Greenfield High School. Voter turnout was at 29.6% as of 6 p.m. Voter turnout was 47% in the last mayoral election in 2019.

“Thank you, everyone,” DeSorgher said from the stage at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, where she celebrated with family and friends shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. “This actually was about you, the whole campaign was for you; that’s why I ran. I ran for this community because you wanted change. I stepped up to the plate because you asked for somebody to do that. I did it for you.”

She credited the victory in part to the people who campaigned for her.

“We all did it together, and that’s how we’re going to move forward,” DeSorgher, 71, said.

Even before results began to trickle in, DeSorgher’s campaign party was bustling with confidence. About three dozen supporters and members of her campaign occupied the downtown venue by around 7 p.m.

Mary Chicoine, who campaigned for DeSorgher, said the positive energy was consistent with what she’d observed at the polls and around the city throughout the day.

“I’m feeling pretty confident,” Chicoine said about an hour before polls closed. “So many positive thumbs up, waving and honking more than I’ve ever seen.”

“I felt confident all day long … and I think we’re gonna take it tonight,” DeSorgher commented in the hour before victory. “I think we did a great job. We had a lot of teamwork and the campaign kept getting bigger.”

Chicoine attributed DeSorgher’s campaign success, in part, to being a “grassroots effort” that brought together a diverse array of people, even those who differed greatly in their general political views and affiliations. She added that the campaign was bound together by positivity.

“Ginny has insisted on running a positive campaign from the very beginning to the very end,” she said. “There were many opportunities where things got frustrating, but we kept it positive.”

Taking in the results shortly before 9 p.m., Wedegartner congratulated DeSorgher on running a “very good campaign.” Wedegartner expressed optimism that DeSorgher might carry forth the momentum she has built up during her time in office.

“I believe I’m leaving the city in good shape and it’ll be up to the new mayor to keep it that way,” Wedegartner said from Smitty’s Pub on Chapman Street where her campaign gathered. “I’m looking forward to seeing how she moves Greenfield forward as well.”

Wedegartner said she isn’t yet thinking about next steps in her career.

Wedegartner said that while Election Day is “always a stressful day any way you look at it,” she felt “pretty confident” Tuesday and her campaign was in good spirits.

“It was a great day,” she summarized. “We had a lot of energetic people on my team to the end.”

She said she took pride in the hard work of her campaign, stressing that she simultaneously needed to fulfill her duties as the city’s mayor. Campaigning, she said, was largely a matter of spending evenings and weekends knocking on doors and holding events.

“I worked through this whole campaign for the people of Greenfield,” Wedegartner said shortly before polls closed. “I’m always working and I feel like that’s part of campaigning.”

Kirsten Wedegartner, Roxann’s daughter and campaign manager, said she was grateful that the vast majority of the people she was counting on “paid attention and showed up today” at the polls.

“I’m super proud of our campaign and our people,” she added. “I feel like we did everything we could.”

DeSorgher, who was elected to City Council in November 2019 and served most recently as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, announced her candidacy for the Nov. 7 election in March.

Now retired, she spent 30 years as a nurse, including managing the Emergency Department at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick. She was a member of the Planning Board for seven years and has been involved with various local boards, including the Commission on Disability Access, the Affordable Housing Committee and the Greenfield Democratic Town Committee. She was also previously part of the YMCA board of directors and Baystate Franklin Auxiliary, and served as a Planning Board representative for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).

DeSorgher has been particularly active over the past year in the conversation around the former Lunt Silversmiths property, where concerns have been raised about the status of the site’s environmental cleanup. She brought the issue forward in 2021 when the property was brought before the City Council to declare it as surplus and authorize the sale of it. In particular, there is concern about contamination levels of trichloroethylene, or TCE, a synthetic solvent that can cause adverse health effects.


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