By Bethany Bray
---- — SALEM — Mayor Kim Driscoll walked into a third term last night, taking 75 percent of the vote.
Just as in 2009, Driscoll easily defeated a little-known opponent. Cedric Ashley Jr., a substitute teacher making his first run for office, received 1,093 votes, while Driscoll brought in just under 5,000.
Driscoll was first elected in 2005. In January, she’ll be sworn in to a third four-year term.
“I am honored that the voters of Salem have entrusted me with their support for another term as their mayor,” Driscoll said last night. “We’ve accomplished a remarkable amount of good works over the past seven years, but there is still much to be done in order to continue to lead Salem forward.”
“Tonight’s vote was a clear message from the people of Salem: We want our city to keep moving forward in a positive direction, with civility, competence and, most of all, with optimism for the future.”
Driscoll held campaign events this fall, although she wasn’t facing serious opposition. According to a campaign finance report filed in September, she raised $25,000 this year, bringing her campaign treasury to more than $81,000. She listed total expenditures of almost $34,000.
Prior to being elected mayor, Driscoll was Chelsea’s deputy city manager and served two terms on the Salem City Council.
She previously worked as corporation counsel to the city of Chelsea, community development director for the city of Beverly and assistant planner for the city of Salem. She has a background in planning and land use and has also worked as a real estate and commercial development attorney.
In 2009, Driscoll captured more than 80 percent of the vote over challenger, Ken Sawicki, a perennial candidate. Sawicki also ran against Driscoll this fall but was eliminated in the Sept. 17 preliminary election.
When she first ran in 2005, she knocked off eight-year incumbent mayor Stan Usovicz in a preliminary election and clinched 63 percent of the vote in the final election, running against longtime city Councilor Kevin Harvey.
Driscoll lives on Glenn Avenue with her husband, Nick, and their three children, Delaney, Ailish and Nicholas.
Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.