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Jordan ekes out narrow win for Keene town justice

Henrietta Jordan (Photo provided)

KEENE — Uncertified results from the Essex County Board of Elections show Henrietta Jordan as the winner of Keene’s town justice race.

The race was too close to call on election night. Between in-person voting on Election Day and ballots cast during the state’s nine-day early voting period, the totals stood at 250 votes for Jordan’s opponent Barbara S. Dwyer, who ran on the independent Dwyer party line, and 220 for Jordan, on the independent Justice For All line. But 200 absentee ballots were left to be counted, enough to potentially swing a 30-vote margin the other way — which is what happened.

With those absentees now counted, Jordan appears to have won the election with an advantage of just nine votes over Dwyer, 324 to 315.

The canvass has not yet been signed by county election commissioners, meaning that the results are not yet officially certified, according to the county Board of Elections.

“I’m pleased with the results, obviously, and I’m very grateful to the voters of the town of Keene for electing me to this position,” Jordan said Thursday. “I hope I will serve them, the town and all the users of the justice court as best I can over the next four years.”

Jordan also thanked her opponent.

“I also want to congratulate my opponent for running a fine race. It was very close,” she said. “I hope she continues to engage in the affairs of our town.”

Dwyer said on Thursday that it was a “good race” and that she would consider running again.

Jordan, 68, ran against Bill Harral for a town justice seat in the last election cycle, but Harral secured the spot.

Jordan is a Keene Valley native who lived in Vermont for many years. After graduating from college, she worked for a Head Start child care program, developed a victim assistance program for the Child Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, chaired the Vermont Victims Compensation Commission, and served as the executive director of three nonprofit organizations. She was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1998 and served two terms.

After she left office, Jordan moved back home to Keene Valley in 2003 and worked for the Land Trust Alliance. She served as a board member of the Keene Valley Neighborhood House and the High Peaks Education Foundation, directed the Keene Central School Community Education Program for three years and has experience with grant writing, property law and legal research. She has also worked as an independent consultant and for the Adirondack Land Trust, which is based in Keene. Jordan also runs a guest house and does volunteer work.

She was enrolled in law school when she was younger, but dropped out and had children, with the intention of going back to school someday. She ultimately fell into advocacy work.

Before the election, Jordan said she hoped to make information about the court more accessible and make the operations of the court more efficient, obtain grant funding to update the court’s technology, and streamline the court filing system.

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