DRACUT -- Incumbents Jesse Forcier and Tony Archinski retained their seats Monday night, beating out challengers Brian Bond and John Joyce in a four-way race for two seats on the Board of Selectmen.
Forcier topped the ticket with 1,314 votes and Archinski followed closely with 1,273, according to unofficial results released by the Town Clerk's Office. Bond received 847 votes, and Joyce 455.
A total of 2,244 people voted out of 22,080 registered voters.
At Maguire's Tavern on Bridge Street, supporters trickled in to congratulate Forcier after the unofficial results came out.
"I'm proud of all my supporters and all the help out there. I certainly couldn't do it alone," Forcier, 39, said after learning he'd topped the ticket. "From day one, we had such a great team behind us."
Over at Paddy's Ale House on Lakeview Ave., Archinski celebrated with his camp.
"I'm very happy that supporters came out and showed that they're happy with the hard work that I've done over the last six years," said Archinski, 65. "It's gonna be very exciting to get back to work."
This will be Forcier's second term on the board, and Archinski's third.
A retired Dracut police lieutenant, Archinski was the board's previous chairman. He currently serves as the board's representative to the Open Space and Zoning Bylaw Review Committees and has served on the Government Rules & Regulations Committee. "Experience matters" has been Archinski's core campaign message.
Forcier previously served on the Planning Board, but resigned in 2016 when he was elected to the Board of Selectmen. He has also served on the Dracut Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. In a recent interview, Forcier said experience in zoning, community preservation and economic development is essential to keep Dracut moving forward.
Shortly before 10 a.m., Forcier reported feeling very optimistic as he stood outside the polling stations at the Justus C. Richardson Middle School.
"We've already got a really good, positive response from the people that have been coming in," Forcier said. "I think we're going to do very well."
Paul Murphy, of Dracut, stood beside Forcier with the candidate's blue-and-green campaign sign.
"Jesse's a very good candidate and I've been behind him since the start," said Murphy, 65. "Jesse does the right things for the town of Dracut."
Murphy said he was voting for Forcier. He declined to share who else he was voting for in the contested race.
Bond, a producer and co-host of "The Dracut Connection" on Dracut Access TV, stood at the entrance of the Dr. Christos Daoulas Education Complex behind a huge yellow campaign sign bearing his name. It was late Monday morning and Bond said he felt confident.
"Enough is enough with the taxes and fees," said Bond, echoing his campaign message. "It's time to give back to the citizens of Dracut -- the taxpayers."
Hours before the polls closed at 8 p.m., Archinski said he felt good as he stood outside the polling station at Richardson Middle School. He expressed some concern over the low turnout, but said it appeared to be picking up as the evening went on.
Lloyd DeJesus, 54, said he voted for Bond and Forcier. Moments after walking out of Richardson Middle School, DeJesus said he wished the candidates would have approached residents directly and not relied so much on campaign mailers.
Outside the polling station at M.G. Parker Memorial Library, resident Agnes Vivier said she voted for Bond.
"I like Brian," she said. "He's always been there for the people."
Joyce said he did his best. "I've done this a couple of times, as we know, and the voters of Dracut were heard and they went back with the incumbents," he said over the phone. "I enjoyed the fact that I knocked on as many doors as I could."
A message was left Monday night for Bond.