, Salem, MA

Local News

May 7, 2013

Danvers to choose 2 selectmen today

DANVERS — The town clerk is predicting a low to moderate turnout for today’s town election, in which three candidates are vying for two seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Selectman Keith Lucy, the senior member of the board; Selectman Dan Bennett, a selectman since 2007; and David Mills, a retired Appeals Court judge and former town moderator are all seeking a three-year seat on the board.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Town Clerk Joseph Collins predicts turnout in the 20 percent to 25 percent range. His office has received 50 absentee ballots, about what the office received for last week’s state primary, in which turnout was a low 14.5 percent of the town’s nearly 19,000 registered voters. Because the race is local, Collins predicts the turnout will be greater than that of the state primary.

The sense of urgency about the race may have lessened due to the resignation last month of former Selectman Mike Powers, a move that created an additional vacancy on the board. This added vacancy is not listed on today’s ballot. The Board of Selectmen will choose someone to fill the vacancy until next year’s town election, and the board plans to discuss the process at its meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

How do the candidates feel about the race?

“It’s hard to predict,” Bennett said yesterday. “It’s like a horse race.” Bennett said he and a group of friends had a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, and while he predicted the eventual winner would do well, he picked the winning horse, Orb, to show or come in third.

“I don’t know,” said Mills when he asked who he thought might win. He said his gathering tonight at Timothy’s Grill, the former Village Green on Route 1, is meant as a way to count votes, and he does not see it as a victory party. Last night, Mills, a lifelong Danvers resident, and his supporters were gathering to call those people who voted in prior elections.

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