By Dustin Luca
---- — ANDOVER — A familiar name in state-level politics pulled, filed, and had certified nomination papers to run for School Committee yesterday, just in the window of a few hours.
March’s town elections will feature two contested races: the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee. Both races, for two seats each, have three residents in the campaign spotlight.
Each race also has one person who didn’t make the deadline to file nomination papers.
Making it on the ballot at the last minute was Barbara L’Italien, a four-term state Representative who has lost bids office in both 2010 and 2012.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Select two, for three years
With the recent announcement that schools veteran Dick Collins was not running after 54 years of service to the town, Chestnut Street resident Paula Colby-Clements, the committee’s current chair, stood as the only incumbent.
Three residents then moved to pull nomination papers to run, but only two got them in prior to the deadline yesterday afternoon.
Of them, Brook Street resident Sal Tabit, who ran for state office in 1998 and 2010, joins L’Italien as challenger to Colby-Clements. L’Italien, who had 71 signatures certified Tuesday with four more pages not yet processed, collected her signatures in a window of a few hours, she said.
Avon Street resident Don Gottfried, who ran for the School Committee last year, pulled nomination papers but didn’t return them in time.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN: Select two, for three years.
Both men who’s terms on the board end in March are running for re-election, and they’re joined by a third who is a familiar town critic.
South Main Street resident Paul Salafia, the board’s current chair, returns for his second term in office after winning a two-year seat in 2011. Salafia’s term was the remainder of Jerry Stabile’s, who received the second most votes for the Board of Selectmen in 2010. Before running for Selectmen, Salafia also served six straight terms on the Planning Board.
Joining him as an incumbent is Alison Way resident Alex Vispoli, who first ran for office in 2004 and is seeking a fourth straight term on the board. He and Salafia will be challenged by Chandler Road resident Larry Bruce, a regular critic of town officials who has consistently run for the board in recent years.
Cyr Circle resident Mary Carbone, also a frequently recognized town critic, pulled nomination papers to run for office last week. She did not return them before yesterday’s deadline.
The following uncontested, one-seat races are also on the ballot.
TOWN MODERATOR (for one year): Sheila Doherty, Juniper Road.
HOUSING AUTHORITY (for five years): Janice Burkholder, Arundel Street.
TRUSTEES OF PUNCHARD FREE SCHOOL (three years): Randall Hanson, Pasho Street.
This year’s election will be held at the Andover High School field house on Tuesday, March 26 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Registration to vote ends on March 6. For more information, call the town clerk’s office at 978-623-8255.