SALEM — The winds of change blew across the City Council last night.
Incumbent City Councilors Paul Prevey, Mike Sosnowski and Jerry Ryan were voted out of office in yesterday’s election, which drew 25 percent of Salem’s registered voters.
Perhaps the biggest upsets of the night came in Wards 2 and 6, where political newcomers Heather Famico and Beth Gerard beat incumbent councilors Michael Sosnowski and Paul Prevey.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Gerard, as results were announced last night. “It’s overpowering and exciting and amazing. I’m so honored to have this opportunity.”
Gerard, a research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health, beat Prevey, Salem’s Ward 6 councilor since 2006, by just 17 votes, 482 to 465.
In Ward 2, Famico was Sosnowski’s first challenger in a decade. Seeking a sixth term, Sosnowski had raised more money than any other city council or school committee candidate this fall.
Famico beat Sosnowksi by a sizable margin, 745 to 543.
In the at-large race, newcomer Elaine Milo topped the ticket, followed by incumbents Tom Furey, Arthur Sargent and Bill Legault, who was appointed to a City Council vacancy in January. Both Furey and Sargent have been on the council for more than a decade.
Milo, who works in the grants office at Salem State University, said last night she’s “excited” to bring positive energy to the City Council.
“There’s a whole lot of emotion going on,” she said last night after the polls closed. “I’m elated, humbled and honored by the confidence voters have put in me. ... Salem has a really bright future, and I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish together. I’m just so thankful.”
Ward 4 councilor and Council President Jerry Ryan ran for an at-large seat but did not win one of the four spots. Former School Committee member Norene Gachignard also fell short in the at-large race, as did perennial candidate Ken Sawicki.