Lyden returns for fourth term as Salem first selectman

Salem — First Selectman Kevin Lyden is returning to his seat for a fourth term in an election that saw a 44 percent turnout from registered voters.

Lyden received 676 votes to beat out Republican challenger Ed Chmielewski, 363 votes, who currently serves as a selectman and the Republican Town Committee chairman.

This year was the first time Lyden, who is unaffiliated and was cross-endorsed in the previous three elections, ran opposed.

"I am honored to again serve my fellow townspeople as their first selectman," Lyden said in a prepared statement. He commended town residents for coming out to the polls.

Republican Registrar of Voters Georgia Pech said the polls were busier than expected this year, with about 70 voters per hour. Nine people registered at Town Hall on Tuesday for a total of 2,381 registered voters. A total of 1,061 votes were cast.

Republican candidates David Kennedy and Stuart Gadbois were elected to the Board of Selectmen with 545 and 600 votes, respectively, beating out Democrats Hugh McKenney's 423 and Sue Spang's 463.

Out of 14 contested seats, the Republicans won 10. RTC Vice Chairman Vernon Smith said the party has received a lot of support from the town, including from unaffiliated voters.

"There's so much healthy competition now between Democrats and Republicans," he said. "It's very good for democracy here."

a.hutchinson@theday.com

Twitter: @ahutch411

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