, Salem, MA

Local News

May 15, 2014

Marblehead voters oust Connolly from school board

Former teacher Pratt wins seat in first run for office


It was her first experience running for office. “I learned a lot about politics and a lot about myself,” Pratt said.

The School Committee and Board of Selectmen jointly appointed Michael Murphy to the school board to fill a position left vacant when another member resigned in the wake of the Maas controversy. Thus, Murphy was successful in his first effort to win his seat at the ballot box.

The two winners will serve three-year terms.

Also winning the right to finish a one-year unexpired term on the School Committee was a second appointed member, William Ackerman. His task eased when Lederman abandoned his plan to seek his seat. Lederman dropped his 2014 campaign after drawing papers, saying he was encouraged by the current direction of the board. Like Connolly, Lederman was seen as a critic of Maas.

The only other contested elections resulted in one upset, as incumbent cemetery commissioner Rose McCarthy lost to challenger William Henry James, 1,045 to 724. With 881 votes, Michael Anthony Tumulty beat out Calvin Crawford’s 632 votes to win a spot on the Municipal Light Commission.

With no one challenging the five selectmen, turnout was light. Among those five, Selectman Jim Nye drew the most votes at 1,444. Additionally, this municipal election was held on a Tuesday rather than a Monday, as had been previously the practice. Town Clerk Robin Michaud said she expected residents to adjust easily, however, as state and federal elections are on Tuesdays.

Alan Burke can be reached at

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