Oak Bluffs voters will not lack for choice in this April’s town elections, with five disparate candidates running for two selectmen’s positions.

They lined up in alphabetical order on Wednesday night at the League of Women Voters candidates’ forum in the town library, five men with not a lot in common, save an acknowledged lack of hair, to put their pitches for a hand in running Martha’s Vineyard’s most cash-strapped town.

Two were incumbents, Ronald DiOrio and Duncan Ross. There was the local small business owner, Michael Santoro, whose determination to run was only cemented by the fact that his friends thought he needed his “head examined” for even contemplating it.

There was the “open-minded, caring, independent and thoughtful,” not to mention academically qualified and occasionally poetic retiree, Abraham Seiman.

And there was the ex-Merrill Lynch, ex-mortgage company president, Walter Vail, a proud fiscal conservative prepared to look at any way of raising revenue or cutting costs, “other than raising property taxes.”

They had five minutes each to make their case. Mr. DiOrio, first, was proud to run on his record.

“You know what someone will do by what they have done,” he said, and proceeded to enumerate achievements.

He cited the redevelopment of the old Oak Bluffs library into mixed commercial use and affordable units. There was now a pharmacy on Curcuit avenue, he said. The town had garnered $3.5 million in state and federal grants to help Oak Bluffs families.

There were “very difficult decisions ahead” if the town was to solve its financial problems, but he was up for the “challenging and rewarding task” if the people would have him.

Next up, Duncan Ross, seeking his third term. His pitch was quite different. He enumerated his long history of civic involvement — town moderator, time on the conservation commission, the historic district commission, president of the Friends of Oak Bluffs, chair of the centennial committee (in 1990), chair of the committee to save Sengekontacket.

He was hoping the pond would be open this year. The hope of helping that happen was one of the “main reasons” he was running.

Mr. Ross conceded there had been “some difficult times with finances this year,” but he was sure the town was now getting “back on track.”

And so to Joseph Santoro, 19-year Oak Bluffs resident, 14-year Oak Bluffs homeowner, businessman in town, the one whose friends, when he told them he was thinking of running, were apt to say “What, are you crazy?”

He offered not much in the way of firm policy, but empathy. He knew about the tough times, he said; he had been forced to shed staff.

And, he said, “Since we are all sacrificing, the town could do more.”

Mr. Seiman began with an apology. He was a better worker and writer than he was a speaker, he said.

He had just moved here full-time last year, although his association with the town went back to 1962. He wanted to use his “big city experience” to the town’s advantage, which is why he had run for both the board of selectmen and the finance committee.

Mr. Seiman reeled off his credentials — a master’s degree in statistics, one in business administration and one in social work, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, jobs including 35 years as chief executive of various health care facilities, some college teaching, some social work.

He was the only candidate to congratulate another for anything; he said Mr. DiOrio had done a good job managing the town finances in tough times. He was most concerned about the town’s social services, libraries, schools, and particularly affordable housing.

The most important thing, though, said Mr. Seiman, was that life had taught him to “listen more often than speak, to think compassionately yet critically, to consider issues on their merits” and to advocate for one’s constituency.

Life had taught Walter Vail, the last speaker, something quite different.

“The lessons of writing a business plan, setting and writing a budget, making staffing adjustments where revenues didn’t measure up, cutting expenses and making payrolls, have given me a background uniquely suited to be a selectmen.

“One quickly becomes a fiscal conservative with this kind of experience,” he said.

“Would it be wrong to think this town can be managed just as one would manage a business?” he asked, rhetorically.

“I think it can.”

And with that, the opening statements were over. Questions followed, some of them hard.

At the end, there was one thing all the candidates clearly agreed on: Oak Bluffs was going to have to make some pretty severe cuts in the coming year or so.

Equally clearly, some candidates would wield the axe far more willingly than others.