DRACUT — In a three-way race for two open seats on the Board of Selectmen, incumbents Alison Hughes and Tami M. Dristiliaris finished first and second Monday, defeating newcomer John Joyce.
According to unofficial results, Hughes led the race with 1,739 votes and Dristiliaris followed with 1,608, while Joyce had 857. Nearly 12 percent — 2,456 — of Dracut’s 21,121 registered voters went to the polls, according to the Clerk’s Office.
“I’m very honored to be re-elected to the Board of Selectmen with Tami. It’s a great night. We’re very excited,” said Selectmen Chairwoman Hughes over loud chatter inside Blue Angus Cafe after the unofficial results came in. “We have a lot more work to do and I’m very proud and can’t wait to get back to work.”
As Hughes spoke, Dristiliaris stood nearby surrounded by supporters.
“I’m pretty happy about being re-elected and I want to thank the Dracut voters for believing in me and for choosing me once again as their Dracut selectman for the next three years,” Dristiliaris told The Sun. “I’ll work really hard for you and I’m always available if you need to talk.”
Both incumbents previously told The Sun that, if re-elected, they’d like to continue focusing on Dracut’s economic development. Hughes said she ran for re-election because she’d like to finish what was started in her first term and that her dedication to Dracut, experience, and her availability to make the Board of Selectmen a full-time job made her the most qualified candidate. Dristiliaris said she chose to run again because she enjoyed her time as a selectman and that she has a lot of life experience.
Joyce, who during his campaign said he’d like to be the “voice of the people” in town, waited for the unofficial election results at the Clerk’s Office earlier that evening.
“I’m just comfortable knowing that I did the best job I could,” he said after learning he lost to the incumbents. “With 857 votes, it was exciting.”
A few hours before the election results poured in, Joyce stood at the entrance of the Dr. Christos Daoulas Education Complex with a huge campaign sign that read: “JOHN JOYCE Dracut Selectman.”
“I’ve met a lot of people in the town and I’m taking on some of the issues and it’s just a great way and get out and get to know how people really feel about the issues,” the candidate said while holding his sign. “I felt like I did the best I could do.”
Early Monday evening, resident Rick Sevigny said he voted for Hughes and Dristiliaris after walking out of a polling station at the Dracut Council on Aging.
“They seem to be doing fine,” he said. “I have no qualms with the way things are going right now.”
“I just follow his lead,” chimed in his wife, Paula Sevigny, adding that she also voted for the incumbents. “I agree with him. They’ve done well.”
Louise Tremblay, a 46-year resident of Dracut, is a Dristiliaris supporter who held up a campaign sign at the entrance of the Daoulas Education Complex. One of the polling stations was at the George H. Englesby Junior High School, which is located in the complex.
“I’m here to support a good candidate for selectmen, Tami Dristiliaris, who just happens to be my best friend,” Tremblay said. “I believe in her principles and I feel that she votes fairly for the town, and follows through with a lot of commitments that she does make.”
Selectman Tony Archinski, who also stood by the entrance with a campaign sign for Sabrina Heisey, said he was “of course” voting for his fellow selectmen.
“Because I’ve worked very well with them over the years. I think that we have a good team on the board of selectmen. I think that we’ve done a good job with the town manager (Jim Duggan), with economic development,” he said. “I don’t think that there’s any reason to change the board of selectmen at this time.”
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.