CHELMSFORD -- The town has a new selectman in Bob Joyce and a new town moderator in Jon Kurland after both were victorious in the town election Tuesday.

Joyce defeated Joe Ready, 1,997 to 1,865, and Kurland beat incumbent moderator Richard DeFreitas, 2,122 to 1,562 in unofficial tallies.

In victory, Joyce went from worst to first. He finished in last of five candidates for the board last spring. On Tuesday, he won six of nine precincts and defeated Ready by 132 votes.

"It's nice to be back," Joyce said in Town Hall, moments after the results came in.

As for what could account for his turnaround from a year ago, Joyce said the difference was the number of candidates. With two candidates seeking one seat this year instead of five seeking two seats, voters simply had to choose one candidate or the other, he said.

"You don't get distracted," Joyce said.

Ready declined to comment.

Kurland defeated DeFreitas after campaigning heavily on what he said was the importance of personality on the moderator position.

"I had no clue how this was going to turn out," said Kurland, who previously served on the Board of Selectmen.

Tuesday's voter turnout was unofficially 15.6 percent.


Last year's election, in which five candidates ran for two Board of Selectmen seats, was 17.4 percent.

Follow Grant Welker on Twitter and Tout @SunGrantWelker.