Jack Wilhelm overwhelmingly defeated the current chairman by 311 votes to win a seat on the Wenham Board of Selectmen in yesterday’s Town Election.
Wilhelm, 70, defeated Selectman Molly Martins with 578 votes over Martins’ 267 votes, according to the unofficial results released by the town clerk’s office last night.
He said he is humbled and appreciative to have received about 67 percent of the vote as he celebrated his victory last night with family and friends.
“We worked hard to get our message out, and it resounded with the Wenham voters,” Wilhelm said.
During his campaign, Wilhelm, a former Finance Committee member, said the town’s Finance Department is in “disarray” and that he’d make it a top priority to hire back a full-time finance director, rather than continuing to use an outside consulting firm.
“I look forward to helping Wenham resolve some of the difficulties I articulated in my campaign,” he said. “No. 1 will be resolving the issues in the Finance Department.”
Martins, 47, who was elected to the board three years ago, said during her campaign that Wilhelm’s statements about the Finance Department being in disarray were based on “sound bites and innuendo.” She promised to continue to work making sure the town is innovative in the management of its resources.
Martins did not return phone calls seeking comment last night.
Wenham Town Clerk Trudy Reid said 859 ballots were cast yesterday out of the town’s 2,869 registered voters — a 30 percent turnout.
In Hamilton, Selectman Marc Johnson won re-election and will be joined by newcomer Scott Maddern. Selectman Jeff Stinson did not seek re-election.
The field of candidates also included Jacob “Jack” Hauck, 77, a retired journalist, and William Dery, 72, a current School Committee member.
Maddern received 568 votes, while Johnson received 515 votes. A total of 856 ballots were cast out of the town’s 5,833 registered voters — a 15 percent voter turnout.