NORTH ANDOVER – Where have all the candidates gone?
Last spring, North Andover voters had three contested races in which to cast their ballots. This year the battle for a single seat on the School Committee is the only race with more than one candidate. The election will take place March 26, with voters from all eight precincts casting their ballots at North Andover High School.
In last year’s town election, three strong candidates campaigned to take the place of Moderator Charles Salisbury, who stepped down after running Town Meetings for 21 years. Mark DiSalvo, a venture capitalist with a long history in local government, including 17 years on the School Committee, won that spirited contest. He defeated Dr. Frank MacMillan, a surgeon and Board of Health member; and Ramsey Bahrawy, an attorney and former selectman who was serving on the Finance Committee at the time of the town election.
Selectman William Gordon was easily re-elected to his position and Richard Vaillancourt won his first term on the Board of Selectmen. They faced a determined opponent in Joe Edward Smith, who was making his 12th run for selectman. Smith, an engineer with the state Executive Office of Administration and Finance, decided against running this year.
In the School Committee race, Laurie Burzlaff, now the chairwoman of that board, was re-elected, while newcomer Andrew McDevitt prevailed over George Vozeolas, who was also making his first run for office in North Andover.
This year, it’s an entirely different situation. The only contested race pits Zora Warren, a former middle school social studies teacher, against Mark Mezzina, a 19-year-old college student. They’re competing for a three-year term on the School Committee.
For a few days, at least, it appeared that race might have three contestants, but then Christine Allen, after serving two terms on the committee, decided not to seek re-election.