After weeks of campaigning and , it's official: Chelmsford has chosen their new selectmen.
First term incumbent Matt Hanson and School Committee chairwoman Janet Askenburg defeated Permanent Town Building Committee chairman Pat Maloney, Planning Board member Bob Joyce and former Town Meeting Representative Roland Van Liew.
While Hanson easily earned reelection, finishing first as he did during his first run in 2010. In his second run on Tuesday, he led all candidates in each of the town's nine precincts.
Things for the second spot were more tenuous, as Askenburg led Maloney by only two votes with only two precincts left to count, a lead Askenburg was only able to secure after a strong performance in Precinct 7 and a neck and neck race in Precinct 8.
Despite the loss, Maloney was gracious in defeat, believing that the town is in good hands.
"This was the first time for all of us doing what we did, and to be so close is quite an accomplishment," said Maloney. "I'm happy for the town because it benefited from such a spirited race with five candidates and good for the two candidates that were elected, I hope they can do good work for the town and I hope we can keep this level of involvement going moving forward."
As would be expected, the final vote tally announcement brought a measure of satisfaction for both of the winning candidates after a long fought campaign season that came down to just 56 votes.
"I'm just thrilled, there was a lot of great of candidates, and I knew it would be a very tight race. I have a whole range of emotions, but I'm just thrilled," said Askenburg.
For Hanson, the significant margin of victory was in itself a humbling and joyous result, also thanking the other four candidates.
"I'm overwhelmed by the support of all the people that helped me get elected, I want to thank to thank everyone in the community that helped me again as I went for reelection this year, that really meant a lot," said Hanson. "I just said (on Telemedia) that I'm shaking and having butterflies not from standing outside in the freezing cold for seven hours, but from the excitement I'm feeling right now."
In the other town-wide contested race, Jeff Apostolakes easily defeated Nancy Araway for the Associate Member position on the Planning Board, winning all nine precincts.
"It was really a hard fought race out there, I want to say thanks to Nancy Araway, she ran a great race. All I'm thinking of right now is serving the people of Chelmsford and doing the best forward," said Apostolakes.