Only a few days remain for potential candidates to pull papers to run for an elected office or Town Meeting membership and, while a few contested races are shaping up, there are still more Town Meeting seats than suitors.
According to Town Clerk Donna Hooper, as of Jan. 10, the final day for an incumbent Town Meeting member to declare intentions to seek re-election, there were still at least Town Meeting seats without candidates across the town’s nine precincts.
Hooper was particularly concerned about Precinct 3, which lost four members due to reprecincting and, as of Tuesday, had only six candidates for nine openings. On the flip side, precincts 4 and 8 both had more candidates than openings.
Reprecincting, occurring this year as a result of population shifts, resulted in a shuffling of six Town Meeting members from precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Those six members must run as incumbents in their new precincts, according to Hooper.
In all, as of Wednesday afternoon, there were 11 new candidates to become Town Meeting members, while 50 of 65 possible candidates for reelection had declared their intentions to do so.
Hooper said she doesn't do any recruiting of prospective candidates, but noted Town Meeting members tend to take care of that themselves.
This Friday, Jan. 13, is the final day residents can pull papers to run for elected office or Town Meeting and 5 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 17, is the deadline to submit signed nomination papers.
A week in advance of the deadline, contested races were shaping up for School Committee and the , while Selectman Peter Kelley, Town Moderator Deborah Brown and Planning Board members Richard Canale and Gregory Zurlo were unopposed candidates for reelection.
In the School Committee race,.
The Housing Authority race, meanwhile, two new candidates—Daniel McCabe and Weidong Wang—are vying for a seat vacated by a retiring member.
Radulesco-Banu and Wang are a both also running for Town Meeting in Precinct 8, one of two precincts with contested races.
The annual town elections are scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, the same day as the presidential primary. According to Hooper, that