May 24, 2022

Polls Open Tuesday from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. for Mostly Uncontested Municipal Elections in Chester, Deep River and Essex

AREAWIDE-— The regular election polling places in Chester, Deep River, and Essex will be open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the biannual town elections. But for the first time in the modern era all three first selectmen for the towns are running unopposed for new two-year terms. Other paid, full-time elections positions, such as town clerk and tax collector, are also uncontested in the towns.

There have been uncontested first selectman races in each town over the past two decades. In Chester, former Democratic First Selectman Martin Heft ran unopposed in 1997, 1999 and 2003. In Deep River, 24-year Democratic First Selectman Richard Smith ran unopposed in 1995, 1999, 2009 and 2011 In Essex, former Democratic First Selectman Phil Miller was unopposed by town Republicans in 2007. This year the three incumbent Democrats, Smith in Deep River, Norman Needleman in Essex, and Edmund Meehan in Chester, are uncontested for new terms.

Meehan, a former municipal planner, was elected first selectman of Chester in 2011. He will serve through November 2015 with the two incumbent selectmen, Democrat Larry Sypher, seeking a third term, and Republican Tom Englert, also seeking a third term. All of the other positions on the town’s lengthy ballot are uncontested. Voting is on the second floor of the town hall 203 Middlesex Avenue (Route 154).

Smith is running unopposed for first selectman of Deep River for the third straight election. Incumbent Democratic Selectman Angus Mcdonald Jr. is seeking a second term, with incumbent Republican Selectman David Oliveria seeking a third term. There are contests for two full-term seats on the board of finance, with Democrats Russell Marth and incumbent Lori Guerette competing with Republican candidates John Wichtowski and Douglas Nagan. There is also a contest for the seat on the Region 4 Board of Education that has been held since 2001 by the current board chairwoman, Democrat Linda Hall. The candidates are Republican James Olson and Democrat Jane Cavanaugh. Voting is at the lower level of the Deep River Public Library.

Needleman was elected first selectman of Essex in 2011 after serving on the board of selectmen since 2003. Incumbent Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby is seeking a second term, with Republican Bruce Glowac, who served as first selectmen from 1991-1995, is running for the third seat on the board. He will replace two-term Republican Selectman Joel Marzi, who is running for the open position of town clerk with support from both political parties. Democrat James Francis is uncontested for the open position of town treasurer.

The only contests on the ballot are for two full-term seats on the board of finance. democrats Mary Louise Pollo and incumbent Campbell Hudson are competing with Republican candidates Peter Decker and Jim Palagonia. Voting is in the auditorium at town hall. The town hall parking lot, which has been closed in recent weeks for repaving, is expected to be open Tuesday.