EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 26, 2014

Andover: O'Donoghue wins race for Selectman

ANDOVER — By a wide margin, local realtor and long-time Finance Committee member Mary O’Donoghue defeated her opponent, Jodi Oberto, in the race for an open seat on the Board of Selectmen yesterday.

O’Donoghue took 941 votes to Oberto’s 309. O’Donoghue, who won in all nine precincts, took 76 percent of the vote.

“I’m very happy,” said O’Donoghue, who was hosting a party for campaign volunteers, family and friends at the home she and her husband, Geoff, own at 69 Salem St. “We worked very hard, had a good campaign.”

She said that during the campaign she heard from a lot of people that the town has to “rein in spending. That is the bottom line.”

“This is a fiscally challenging time,” she said. “The big issue is our spending. We have to address that immediately.” She said that even though the budget season is well underway, spending proposals aren’t set in concrete until May Town Meeting, so there is still time for her to have an impact on the final budget.

“Only Town Meeting can authorize spending,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of being on the Board of Selectmen.”

While O’Donoghue spent the day holding campaign signs with supporters at the entrance to the high school — from 6:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. — her opponent took a low-key approach to election day.

“I did a little sign-holding, but I was trying to keep it a normal day and keep myself busy,” said Oberto. “I worked on a church project.”

She didn’t find out the results until called by a reporter from The Eagle-Tribune at around 9:15 p.m.

“It’s not a surprise,” she said when she found out the results. “I know she had a lot of support from folks. She worked hard. I wish her well and hope she does a good job with the rest of the board.”

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