The candidates are in for Braintree’s town election on Nov. 5, and despite early hopes for a busy election season, only three races will be contested.
“We certainly have several contested races and that’s where the focus will be, but I’m disappointed a number of candidates dropped out last minute,” said Braintree Town Clerk Joseph Powers.
Retired Police Chief Paul Frazier withdrew his candidacy for an at-large Town Council seat several weeks ago, and though Mike Barbuto took out papers for an at-large seat, he never turned them in.
District 5 candidate Philip Baldassini never turned in papers. Sarah Nichols, appointed to the School Committee to fill out a term, also took out papers for a four-year school committee seat, but never turned them in.
Additionally, neither Meridith Duffy nor Kieren McDonough, both running for a two-year School Committee seat, received a sufficient number of valid signatures by the deadline on Sept. 17.
The dropouts leave the two-year School Committee seat uncontested, and they leave a vacant spot for the four-year school committee seat.
“It’s disheartening to have a full four-year seat on the School Committee that will now be filled by way of a write-ins,” Powers said. “It’s not the way clerks like to do business and it changes the [process] of the race.”
Powers noted that the town still had several key races, including for at-large council seats and council seats in Districts 4 and 5.
According to an unofficial compilation by the Braintree Town Clerk, four people are running for the three councilor-at-large seats, including incumbents Sean Powers, incumbent Charles Ryan, and newcomers Shannon Hume and John Carvello.
Incumbent Leland Dingee vacated one of the seats.
Two are running for the District 4 council position, vacated by Henry Joyce, including Frank Boncaldo and Stephen O’Brien.
Finally, three are running for District 5 councilor seat left unfilled by Ron DeNapoli – Nick DiMartino, Michael Owens, and William Sweeney.
All other council seats are being vied for by incumbents, and do not face any competition. Housing Authority, Electric Light Board, and Trustees for the library are also uncontested and filled with incumbent applicants.
Candidates have until Oct. 3 to object or withdraw nomination papers. A lottery for position on the ballot will take place Oct. 7.
On Oct. 16, the deadline to register to vote, the town will also host a Candidates Forum for all the nominated contestants.
“I wanted to at least give people the opportunity to see and hear from every candidate that’s been nominated,” Powers said. “Every individual will have the chance to come up to the podium and introduce themselves for two minutes.”
The town may host debates between candidates moving forward but Powers was unsure if they would receive sponsorship from local groups.
To view a list of all the officials running, click here.