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One-Year Seat Has Competition

by Irene Wrenner

February 4, 2022

Ethan Lawrence is the sole candidate who met the deadline, and his will be the only name on the ballot for the one-year, nonpartisan Selectboard seat.

This is Lawrence’s first run for office, but he regularly attends the Town Annual Meeting. He says he closely follows the issues and enjoys listening to regular Selectboard meetings remotely.

Perennial Democratic candidate Brian Shelden is attempting a write-in campaign for what would otherwise be an uncontested seat. 

Shelden is no newcomer to Essex politics. He chairs the Essex Democratic caucus and before announcing his Selectboard campaign, Shelden’s website revealed his third attempt to gain a State House seat:


Shelden first ran in August 2020 but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Tanya Vyhovsky, who went on to win the seat in November.


Shelden campaigned to be appointed to the House seat vacated by Marybeth Redmond in December 2021, but the Governor appointed his competitor.

As mentioned above, Selectboard members are prescribed to be non-partisan officeholders, that is, "free from party affiliation, bias, or designation," according to Merriam-Webster.

In addition to seeking public office, Shelden has been active behind the scenes on issue campaigns, creating Political Action Committees against the 3+3 Fair Representation charter change in 2020 and in support of the Merger in 2020 and 2021.

Lawrence and Shelden, at the latter’s request, will participate in the Town Meeting Television Essex Selectboard Candidate Forum on February 10th.

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