By Bethany Bray
---- — SALEM — School Committee hopefuls Katie Casiglia and Ken Sawicki were eliminated in yesterday’s preliminary election.
Casiglia, a dental hygenist and Saltonstall School parent, trailed the next-highest candidate, Rick Johnson, by 60 votes.
Incumbent School Committee member Brendan Walsh received the most votes in the School Committee preliminary, followed by newcomer Patrick Schultz, a former Salem High School teacher and owner of a downtown taqueria.
Just 13 percent of Salem’s registered voters showed up at the polls yesterday.
“I’m gratified that the people that make this a great city have supported my efforts to keep it that way,” Walsh said after the polls closed last night. “There was a large field, (and) a lot of negative hysteria, but we survived that.”
In addition to Walsh and Schultz, incumbents Janet Crane and Lisa Lavoie will advance to the Nov. 5 municipal election, as well as challengers Rick Johnson and Rachel Hunt.
Johnson, an editor and Saltonstall parent and Hunt, head of the Salem Academy Charter School, are both making their first run for office in Salem. Hunt came in just 26 votes behind Schultz.
Sawicki, a perennial candidate in Salem, was also eliminated from the mayoral and Ward 6 City Council races yesterday.
Incumbent Ward 6 Councilor Paul Prevey and challenger Beth Gerard will advance to the November election. Gerard came in just 31 votes behind Prevey.
In the mayor’s race, incumbent Mayor Kim Driscoll advances with newcomer Cedric Ashley Jr.
Gina Flynn, a bank manager and political newcomer, was eliminated from the Ward 4 city council race. She trailed Sean O’Brien, who will advance to next month’s election with David Eppley, by 94 votes.
When reached last night, Flynn said her run for city council was a positive experience, despite its outcome. She stood out at the polls for more than 12 hours yesterday, holding signs.
“I learned a lot. I would definitely do it (run) again,” she said. “We were disappointed, but there are two other great candidates ...”
“It was a very exciting day, a little chilly,” Flynn said, chuckling. “Overall, the experience was great. I met a lot of nice people and had a great day.”
Casiglia could not be reached for comment last night before The Salem News deadline.
Walsh, who has been on the School Committee for eight years, said last night, “I’ll just be doing what I’ve always done” to campaign through the next month: “telling the truth, meeting people, answering their questions, trying to maintain a civil discourse and serving all of our children.”
Bethany Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.
Salem preliminary results
Driscoll and Ashley advance to Nov. 5 final election
Ward 4 city councilor
Eppley and O'Brien advance to Nov. 5 final election
Ward 6 city councilor
Prevey and Gerard advance to Nov. 5 final election
Salem School Committee ward-by-ward results
Names in bold advance to general election.
|Name||Ward 1||Ward 2||Ward 3||Ward 4||Ward 5||Ward 6||Ward 7||Total|
* Denotes incumbent