It was a bad night Tuesday for incumbents as the chairs of the Board of Selectmen and School Committee were defeated and Board of Health member Nelson Kessler lost his bid for reelection.
In the unofficial tally on the race for the lone Selectmen position, Glenn Kessler defeated Matthew Strauss with 1,058 votes to 981.
In the School Committee race, Francis (Ted) Delano III defeated Jacqueline Kinney by 1,246 votes to 768 votes.
Kinney, who described herself as feeling “disappointed, but not bereft,” said she felt there was an anti-incumbent mood among the electorate because of a lot of controversial issues before the town. “Being the chair sort of makes you a target,” she said of her race and Strauss' unsuccessful bid for reelection.
In the race for the Board of Health, Deborah Shelkan Remis won election in a field of three candidates, ousting incumbent Nelson Kessler on a vote of 787 votes for Remis to 646 votes for Kessler. Olaf Faeskorn ran third with 526 votes.
A total of 2,149 Swampscott residents voted Tuesday for a turnout of 21 percent of the 10,135 eligible voters.
“It feels really great,” said Glenn Kessler of his victory. He said he only decided to run for Selectmen two and a half months ago when a group of friends persuaded him that he should. The friends included Christian Urbano, the campaign chairman, Richard Feinberg, Selectman David Van Dam, Mary DeChillo, Charles Patsios and Chris Mauriello, Kessler said.
He said Strauss has done a good job, but the sales and marketing executive wanted to run to bring more fiscal responsibility to the town's management.
Two specific issues he championed were the proposed turf football field and the handling of the criticism of Harbormaster Larry Bithell. He said he has urged the town to “go slow” on the turf field because of the cost of the field and because of questions about the turf's impact on children's health.
He said he has told Bithell, who urged him to run for Selectman, that he would consider the issues involving him fairly.
Kessler said he believes he won a seat on the Board of Selectmen because the voters “wanted a fresh set of eyes.”
He said the voters also responded to his pledge to make town government “more inviting.” He said too many residents told him “they don't feel like they are listened to.”
Kinney said she is proud of the accomplishments the schools have made while she has been chair. She said the schools are in “good shape.”
She conceded that “a lot of things have happened that have not been popular.” She said some people do not feel there is enough transparency in school management. “It is tough to always be that transparent,” she said.
Kinney said she believes that Delano will make a good school committee member, although his ties to labor unions may present a challenge for him.
She would not rule out another run for the school committee. “Tomorrow is another day,” she said.
The Board of Selectmen and the School Committee are scheduled to meet Wednesday to elect a new chairman and vice chairman.
Van Dam predicted that Richard Malagrifa would be elected chairman and he would be elected vice chairman.
Kinney predicted that Laurier Beaupre, the current vice chairman of the school committee, would be elected the new chairman.
In the unofficial tally of the votes, Kessler won in Precincts 1, 3, 4 and 5, while Strauss won in Precincts 2 and 6.
Delano won all six precincts in the race for school committee.
In other elections, Joseph Markarian Jr. ran unopposed for town moderator. Also unopposed were Linda Paster for the Board of Assessors, John Karwowski for Library Trustee and Angela Ippolito for the Planning Board.