SALEM — Retired police Capt. Conrad Prosniewski dominated the field in the City Councilor-at-large race Tuesday, securing one of four available seats, while incumbent councilor Elaine Milo found herself out of the running in sixth place. In Ward 6, there was a much tighter race that could see a recount.
In that ward, Megan Riccardi — a first-time political candidate — topped former councilor Jerry Ryan by a single vote, 611 to 610. In a preliminary election on Sept. 17, Ryan trailed Riccardi by just four votes.
“Within 10 votes? ...I think we’d have to ask for a recount to make sure it’s valid,” Ryan said Tuesday night. “I’d be stupid not to ask for a recount.”
Prosniewski, with 3,959 votes, topped the at-large ticket for a second time in a row after leading the ballot in September’s preliminary as well.
“I’m honored that Salem has put their trust in me,” he said Tuesday. “Now that they did their job, now it’s time for me to do mine.”
Prosniewski said he was surprised he topped the ticket again.
“A lot of supporters said, ‘You’re going to do well. You’re going to do well,’” he said. “But to come out on top again, I’m surprised. This was a very talented field, a lot of good people that I would’ve been happy to lose to.”
In the eight-person race, first-time candidate Ty Hapworth, who had been trailing in fifth, suddenly surged ahead to third place with a strong performance in the last outstanding precinct in Ward 1, which came in around 9:30 p.m.
That effectively bumped Milo from the running. She ultimately trailed Alice Merkl by 40 votes. Hapworth had 2,990 votes overall with incumbent Arthur Sargent behind him at 2,970. Incumbent Domingo Dominguez was in second with 3,167. Milo had a total of 2,872 votes.
Incumbent councilors Tim Flynn and Steve Dibble defeated their respective challengers in Wards 4 and 7, while single-term incumbent Christine Madore topped write-in challenger Stacia Kraft 993 to 525 (though the 525 number could’ve included other names written in as well as Kraft).
The heated race in Ward 4 ended with Flynn, a Salem fire Lieutenant, topping his challenger, Michael Cusick, with 73% of the vote.
In Ward 7, Dibble rolled challenger Andrew Varela 620 votes to 332. In Ward 1, incumbent Robert McCarthy topped challenger James Willis with 54% of the vote.
The city’s races in Wards 3 saw Patricia Morsillo take a commanding win over Robert Camire with 65% of the vote.