by Geoff Fox
Ralph Salvagno was easily re-elected to a second term as mayor of Hancock on Monday, January 28. Salvagno received 224 votes while challenger Nigel Dardar took 62 votes.
Councilman Tim Smith was re-elected to another four-year term on council as the top vote-getter in the council race. He pulled in 169 votes.
Hancock businessman Roland Lanehart Jr. won a second seat up for election. Lanehart narrowly defeated incumbent councilman Levi Little by nine votes, garnering 142 votes to Little’s 133.
Candidate David Kerns received 85 votes, and Preston Hall 10 votes in the five-way race for the two council seats.
Smith and Lanehart will serve a four-year term and be up for re-election in 2023.
Salvagno will be up for re-election in 2021.
Those elected will be sworn in and take office during a special meeting on February 11
Voter turnout in Hancock’s town election was 29 percent, with 287 of the town’s 973 registered voters casting a ballot in Monday’s election. The vote totals included 11 absentee ballots.
Voter turnout was down from two years ago. In 2017, 34 percent of the town’s 1,016 total eligible voters went to polls for the town election..
Election officials said on Monday there were several ballots disqualified due to people over-voting — marking their ballot for three councilmen instead of two.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. and results were announced at 8:30 p.m.
Each of the seven candidates, along with some residents, waited in the community center as the votes were tallied.
Monday night’s election could be the last time Hancock voters cast a ballot in late January, if proposed changes to the town’s charter are approved. Those changes would move the municipal election to April.