EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 14, 2013

Pelham write-in votes lead to confusion

PELHAM — Voters Tuesday elected Jack King to the School Board.

But this is one King who won’t have to abdicate, because he will never assume the throne.

School district moderator Paul Leonard, announcing the results Tuesday night from Town Meeting, told residents and town officials there are two John Kings in town, John E. King of Debbie Drive and John T. King of Overlook Drive.

John T. King could not be reached yesterday, but has said publicly he does not go by the nickname Jack and does not want to serve.

John E. King is more likely “Jack,” but he is ineligible to serve under New Hampshire law because he isn’t a registered voter. He was removed from the checklist earlier this year, Leonard said Tuesday.

Town property records show the colonial-style home on Debbie Drive is owned by the John E. King Trust. One online database gives a disconnected number at the address for a John D. King.

Town residents and officials agree the “Jack” in question is a regular, outspoken contributor to the town’s electronic message board.

It wasn’t his idea to mount a write-in campaign. It apparently took off after King commented on the message board and suggestions followed that he should run for School Board.

One such tongue-in-cheek comment came from incumbent School Board member Andy Ducharme: “Jack, want to be a write-in candidate for School Board?”

King’s tart response: “If I did, Andy, I would be your worst nightmare.”

So, think of King as a stand-in this election for the always popular Mickey Mouse on voter ballots. Only this time, Mickey emerged victorious.

One theory in town is that “Jack King” isn’t a real person, just a composite created by people who want to post anonymously.

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