Because there were too few candidates to force a preliminary election in September, the candidates do not have a way to measure their popularity among voters as they could through past preliminary elections, Hart said. Such early elections allow candidates to adjust their campaign strategies as they work toward the final election, he said.
In the council race, incumbents seeking re-election are: John Michitson, Robert Scatamacchia, William Ryan, Michael McGonagle, William Macek, Colin LePage, Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien and Thomas Sullivan. Sullivan actually finished just out of the top nine in 2011, but was chosen by the council to finish the term of then-councilor Sven Arminian, who resigned to become director of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.
The challengers are: Former councilors David Hall, a retired Haverhill police sergeant, and Kenneth Quimby; Fred Simmons, a Haverhill school custodian and head of his workers union who has run unsuccessfully in the past; E. Phillip Brown, a Haverhill High School teacher; Lynne Saben, a local attorney; Timothy Connors, also a local attorney; and Melinda Barrett, owner of a food shop on Merrimack Street.
In the School Committee race, incumbents Joseph Bevilacqua, Paul Magliochetti and Raymond Sierpina are seeking re-election.
Bevilacqua, head of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, is seeking a fourth term in office and has been a School Committee member for 12 years. Sierpina, former long-time principal of Tilton Elementary School in Haverhill, is in his first term on the committee, which he joined in January 2010. Magliocchetti, a local lawyer who has been an active school parent for years, is also in his first term and has been on the committee since January 2010. He is the committee’s president. He made an unsuccessful run last year as an Independent candidate for the 1st Essex Senate District.
Committee challengers are Maura Ryan-Ciardiello and Gail Sullivan. Ryan-Ciardiello is a teacher by training and currently stays at home with her children. She ran unsuccessfully for the Governor’s Council last year and is the daughter of longtime City Councilor William Ryan. Sullivan is a teacher at Northern Essex Community College and the University of New England. She has also been a high school principal, curriculum specialist, assistant superintendent and superintendent.