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Merrimack Valley

November 5, 2013

Newcomers Jajuga, Grayton joining Methuen City Council

Voters also re-elect six incumbents to City Council

METHUEN — A former state senator, a 23-year-old political newcomer and six incumbents were among the candidates elected to the City Council last night.

The top vote-getter among 14 council candidates was at-large candidate James Jajuga with 4,984 votes.

Jajuga, 66, who was a Massachusetts state senator from 1991 to 2001, was elected to one of three at-large seats along with incumbent Joyce Campagnone and 23-year-old Daniel Grayton.

Campagnone received 4,773 votes and Grayton 3,422. Also running for at-large seats were Sharon Birchall (3,224 votes) and Robert LeBlanc (1,629 votes).

In the district races, voters re-elected incumbents Jamie Atkinson, Lisa Ferry, Ronald Marsan, Tom Ciulla and Sean Fountain. Fountain was the only incumbent running in the West District, where voters also elected George Kazanjian.

The new council will take office in January and work alongside Mayor Stephen Zanni.

This will be Jajuga’s first time serving on an elected city board. Jajuga was also the state’s secretary of public safety under Gov. Jane Swift from 2001 to 2002. More recently he was president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m grateful to the voters for having placed their faith and confidence in me,” said Jajuga. “I’m going to work hard and work with the mayor and the rest of the City Council to make Methuen a better place to work and live in.”

Grayton secured the final at-large seat by beating Birchall by 198 votes. The youngest council candidate said he first started attending council meetings as a teen.

“I have City Council meetings on cassette tape,” said Grayton. “I was that type of kid. It was something I thought I’d be good at. People agreed.

“I’m going to bring the new ideas and the new perspectives. We’re going to have a positive discussion on the issues.”

Campagnone was elected to her third consecutive term.

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