, Salem, MA

March 11, 2014

Selectman's race possible in Danvers


---- — DANVERS — Selectwoman Diane Langlais plans to run for her seat in the upcoming town election this spring, but she could face a contested race.

Langlais was picked by the board to fill the rest of the term of former Selectman Mike Powers, who resigned last year.

In seeking her first full term, Langlais may face a challenge from Water Street resident Scott Herwig, who took out nomination papers on Feb. 20, according to the town clerk’s office.

Langlais, who works as an accountant, served on the Finance Committee for 10 years before selectmen chose her last May to fill out the rest of Powers’ term. Langlais was the first woman to serve as a selectman since Martha Swindell lost her seat in 2004 and former Selectwoman Ellen Graham also declined to run that year.

Langlais is a Danvers native who has experience on Beacon Hill working in the late 1970s and 1980s in constituent services for a state representative. She has served for three years as a Town Meeting member.

“I enjoy it,” said Langlais about her work on the board for the past year. “I like knowing what is going on in town.”

She said the board has worked well together, and she is looking forward to going through the budget process, this time as a selectman.

“It’s a little bit different from Finance Committee, and I loved Finance Committee,” Langlais said. “I am kind of anxious to do the budget with selectmen.”

Several messages left for Herwig were not returned by press time.

In other townwide races, Town Moderator Pat Fraizer has taken out papers to run for another one-year term.

So far, a race for School Committee has not materialized, as veteran School Committee member Eric Crane is the only person to take out nomination papers for one of the two three-year terms available. Longtime member Jean McCartin has said she does not intend to run again.

Library Trustees Wilbur Cobb and Charles Desmond have taken out nomination papers, with three three-year terms up for grabs. Housing Authority Chairwoman Carla King has also signaled her intention to run for another five-year term.

The last day to file nomination papers with the Town Clerk is Tuesday, March 25, at 5 p.m.

There are also six Town Meeting member seats to fill in each precinct, plus in Precinct 3, there’s a two-year term; in Precinct 4, a one-year term; and in Precinct 7, a one-year term.

The town election is May 6.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.