EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 21, 2013

Sal Tabit exits School Committee race

ANDOVER — Sal Tabit has pulled his name from the three-way School Committee race in March’s elections, leaving voters with two candidates to go in unopposed.

Tabit was slated to appear on the ballot for the March 26 elections after filing nomination papers with 63 signatures — not far above the 50 needed to run.

His withdrawal leaves the race uncontested between incumbent Paula Colby-Clements and candidate Barbara L’Italien, who both pulled nomination papers and filed around 100 signatures just hours before the cutoff for getting on the ballot had closed.

Tabit, who withdrew yesterday morning, said he made his decision “after talking to several people and looking at some of the critical issues that are going to be facing the town and School Committee.”

“I just realized that I wouldn’t have the time, given my law practice, to fully devote the necessary time and resources to the School Committee,” he said. “In particular, with this budget situation which is unresolved, I think it’s going to take a significant amount of time that I can’t afford to take away from my law practice.”

Tabit is an attorney with Broadhurst Tabit LLP, based out of Methuen. He also ran for state representative in 1998 and 2010.

With Tabit’s departure from the race, L’Italien, a four-term state Representative who lost consecutive bids for office in 2010 and 2012 to state Rep. Jim Lyons (R-Andover), will now run uncontested after just squeezing onto the ballot earlier this month.

Recognizing that nothing short of a write-in campaign will stop her and Colby-Clements from winning in next month’s election, L’Italien said she’s going to spend her time before the town votes learning about the issues facing the schools.

“I know some of the local issues, but there’s a lot I need to learn to be effective and helpful to my town,” L’Italien said. “I want to be up to beat and be able to do the best job I possibly can.”

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