EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 31, 2013

Methuen ballottakes shape

METHUEN — It’s officially a two-candidate race for mayor.

Mayor Stephen Zanni will face off against challenger Jennifer Kannan in the Nov. 5 municipal election. There will be no preliminary election this fall for any of the races on the ballot.

Potential candidates for mayor, City Council, School Committee and other local offices had until 5 p.m. yesterday to return nomination papers. In all, 30 residents met the deadline and had their voter signatures certified by the City Clerk’s office, making their candidacies official.

There will be contested races for mayor, city councilor-at-large, East, Central and West district city council, School Committee and the Methuen Housing Authority board. Candidates for the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee and Nevins Memorial Library Board of Trustees will run unopposed.

The race for three councilor-at-large seats will be decided from among five candidates: incumbent Joyce Campagnone and challengers Sharon Birchall, Daniel Grayton, James Jajuga and Robert LeBlanc.

Councilor-at-large Michael Condon and resident Jean Imholt pulled nomination papers but did not return them by the deadline and their names will not be on the ballot.

There are two council seats apiece in the city’s East, West and Central districts. Each race will feature three candidates.

The East District candidates are incumbents Thomas Ciulla and Ron Marsan and challenger Thomas Firth. In the Central District, incumbents Jamie Atkinson and Lisa Ferry will run alongside challenger Jack Cronin.

In the West District, incumbent Sean Fountain will run for reelection along with challengers George Kazanjian and Ken Willette Jr.

Current Methuen School Committeeman Evan Chaison, who will be term-limited out at year’s end, had planned to run for West District council but did not return nomination papers before yesterday’s deadline.

Term limits will also force both Councilor-at-large Kannan and West District Councilor Jeanne Pappalardo off the City Council.

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