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Peabody City Council Races Shaping Up for Fall

Here's a look at who's running in this fall's election and who's stepping down from office.

The City Council will have at least three new members next year, and none of the candidates at this stage are unknown figures in Peabody.

In the race for five at-large seats, local businessman Scott Frasca, former state Rep. Tom Walsh and Library Trustee Margaret Tierney are challenging incumbents Mike Garabedian, Dave Gravel, Anne Manning-Martin and Tom Gould. Walsh is also a former city councilor and school committeeman.

Longtime councilor Jim Liacos is retiring from politics after this year, which assures one newcomer a seat. Garabedian is seeking a seventh term, while Gravel and Manning-Martin are looking for their fourth two-year term and Gould (who topped the ticket in 2011) wants a second term.

In order for there to be a primary election in the At-Large race, the number of candidates would have to be triple the number of seats, i.e. 15, which hasn't happened for several years.

There's also a contested race in Ward 5 between Bob Croce and Joel Saslaw, who are vying to replace Dave Gamache. Gamache, another longtime councilor, likewise is retiring this year.

Four-term Ward 2 Councilor Arthur Athas is facing opposition for the first time this year in the way of Pete McGinn, and there will likely be a race shaping up in Ward 3, with the news Friday that Rico Mello will not seek re-election after holding the seat for 10 years.

Barry Osborne, Bob Driscoll and Barry Sinewitz are not facing any opponents at this time for their seats in Ward 1, 4 and 6, respectively.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who is completing his first term and ready for another two years in the corner office, is likewise facing no opposition at this point.

Over on the School Committee, Neil Papamechail is giving it another try to unseat incumbents Jarrod Hochman, Beverley Griffin Dunne and Tom Rossignoll. Hochman and Rossignoll are seeking their second terms in office while Dunne aims for a fourth.

Dunne and Gravel recently lost the state representative's race in a special election this spring to Republican Leah Cole.

Light Commissioner Charles Bonfanti has pulled papers for re-election along with Library Trustee Jean Ahearn and newcomer Paul Misci, who seeks a six-year term as a trustee.

The deadline to pull nomination papers in this November's city election is July 26.

mkk June 24, 2013 at 09:57 AM
In paragraph 6, it should read Rico Mello will not seek re-election.
John Castelluccio (Editor) June 24, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Thanks for noticing that.

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