Nantucket Select Board Race: Meet The Candidates

Nantucket Current •

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A three-way race for a seat on the Select Board highlights a competitive field of candidates in the May 21st annual town election. 

Select Board chair Dawn Hill Holdgate is seeking reelection to a fourth term, and will be challenged by former Select Board member Rick Atherton, and Clifford Williams, who is embarking on his 14th attempt for a seat on the board. We reached out to the candidates this week to ask them: Why you are running? What issues are important to you? And how you will go about addressing them as a member of the Select Board?

Here are their responses: 

RICK ATHERTONI am running for Select Board because I believe we can do better. When I stepped down from the Board seven years ago, I said that I would stay actively engaged with Town government, and I have (on the Town Government Study Committee and the Roads and Right of Way Committee). But today more than ever, Nantucket faces complex challenges that demand a renewed commitment to good government. I believe my years of service on the Finance Committee and the Select Board, balanced with my more recent experience as a concerned citizen, would be helpful right now on the Select Board.

I have three priorities that reflect my commitment to good government. Read Rick's full response here. 


I have been serving on the Nantucket Select Board, representing this community, since 2015 and I hope that you will consider voting for me to continue this service. I have been your Chair four out of my nine years, including two years in a row to provide continuity during the great challenges of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Prior to the Select Board, I served for 12 years on the Historic District Commission and prior to that service, I worked as a town employee, in two departments (HDC and Planning).

I bring to the board the perspective of a long time islander, whose father ran a local construction business while I was growing up and my mother was a pastry chef before becoming a stay at home mother, to five of us. 

Read Dawn's full response here. 


As a member of the Select Board, I would hope to bring my experience and knowledge from nine years on the Finance Committee and 42 years of working in the public and private sectors. I know firsthand what it’s like to work for a large corporation and for the past 22 years for the Federal Government. I’ve developed land on and off for my entire adult life and I believe all these experiences will help in the process of making sound judgements for the future of the island.

As I have stated in past, I believe we need to get back to the basics of running the town. There are big issues facing us, but if we can’t even fix a pothole in the street, then how can we solve the bigger problems. Moreover, I would like to focus on making our State Representatives more accountable and eliminate all of these closed door sessions that have gone on for decades, the offshore windmills being one of them.

Read Clifford's full response here. 

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