SALEM — Today’s election will narrow the field of candidates for School Committee, mayor and city council wards 4 and 6, setting the stage for the Nov. 5 election.
Polls are open until 8 p.m. throughout the city today.
Voters will eliminate two School Committee candidates today, narrowing the field from eight to six people. One candidate from each of the remaining races — mayor, Ward 4 and Ward 6 — will also be eliminated.
Ward 4 is the only race without an incumbent, as current Ward 4 Councilor Jerry Ryan is running for councilor-at-large. Three newcomers are running for the position: Gina Flynn, a longtime resident and branch manager at a downtown bank, David Eppley, an attorney and member of Salem’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Sean O’Brien, a recent Salem State University graduate and former intern for Mayor Kim Driscoll.
Three people are also running for the Ward 6 position: incumbent Councilor Paul Prevey, newcomer Beth Gerard, a research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health, and perennial candidate Kenneth Sawicki. Prevey, a federal court probation officer, was first elected as Ward 6 councilor in 2005 and took office in 2006.
Mayor Kim Driscoll faces two challengers: Sawicki and newcomer Cedric Ashley Jr., a recent St. Anselm College graduate and substitute teacher in the Salem Public Schools. Driscoll has been Salem’s mayor since 2006.
Sawicki is running for every office he is eligible for: School Committee, councilor at-large, mayor and Ward 6 councilor. Sawicki was Driscoll’s only opponent when she ran for re-election in 2009.
The school board race includes incumbents Janet Crane, Lisa Lavoie and Brendan Walsh, plus residents Patrick Schultz, owner of Howling Wolf Taqueria on Lafayette Street and a former Salem High School teacher; Rachel Hunt, head of the Salem Academy Charter School; Katherine Casiglia, a dental hygienist and Saltonstall School parent; and Richard Johnson, an editor and Saltonstall parent.
Walsh and Crane have both been on the School Committee for eight years. Lavoie was appointed to the board in January 2012 to fill a vacancy; she ran unsuccessfully for School Committee in November 2011.
Salem preliminary election
Polls open today, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Who’s on the ballot:
Mayor (vote for 1): Kim Driscoll*, Kenneth Sawicki and Cedric Ashley Jr.
School Committee (vote for 3): Janet Crane*, Brendan Walsh*, Lisa Lavoie*, Patrick Schultz, Katherine Casiglia, Kenneth Sawicki, Richard Johnson and Rachel Hunt
City Council Ward 4 (vote for 1): David Eppley, Sean O’Brien and Gina Flynn
City Council Ward 6 (vote for 1): Paul Prevey*, Beth Gerard and Kenneth Sawicki
Salem poll locations:
Ward 1: Bentley School, 25 Memorial Drive (all precincts)
Ward 2: St. John’s Church, 28 St. Peter St. (all precincts)
Ward 3: Salem High School auditorium, 77 Wilson St. (all precincts)
Ward 4: Witchcraft Heights school gymnasium, 1 Frederick St. (all precincts)
Ward 5: precinct 1: Temple Shalom, 287 Lafayette St.; precinct 2: community room at the Pioneer Terrace housing complex
Ward 6: precinct 1: Bates School, 53 Liberty Hill Avenue; precinct 2: Parks and Recreation department office at Mack Park
Ward 7: Salem State University Enterprise Center, 121 Loring Avenue (all precincts)