EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

November 3, 2013

Candidates makefinal push for votes

Knock on doors, hold signs, make calls

HAVERHILL — On the eve of tomorrow’s city election, most of the work by candidates is done.

But last-minute campaigning and votes that hang in the balance could make the difference between winning and losing, especially for challengers.

Fifteen candidates are vying for nine seats on the City Council, while five candidates seek three School Committee seats.

Five-term incumbent mayor James Fiorentini is also facing a late-entry challenge from sticker/write-in candidate Tyler Kimball, a Haverhill firefighter who runs a family farm on East Broadway.

“The last couple of days before the election are all about meeting people,” said three-term School Committeeman Scott Wood, whose seat is not available until the 2015 election.

“And for the challengers who don’t have the same name recognition as the incumbents, getting their names out there is huge,” Wood said. “In a race like this where there’s likely to be a low turnout, the final days are when you can win or lose the election.”

Local election officials have projected that fewer than 25 percent of Haverhill’s 41,457 registered voters will cast ballots tomorrow.

Wood speculated the vote tallies at the end of the school and council races are going to be very close. The difference between the winning ninth-place finisher and the losing 10th-place finisher in the council race, for instance, is usually fewer than 100 votes, Wood said.

Most of the candidates and their supporters were out in force over the weekend, with the same expected today and tomorrow.

Kimball hosted a free concert at his family’s farm yesterday that featured country and western music. Guests were invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, and parking was free. Kimball and his backers are also busy mailing out personal letters to registered voters, explaining why he is running and what he hopes to accomplish. He said he planned to mail out thousands of letters by election day.

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