Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 12, 2012

3 Andoverites in register of deeds race

Lots of loacl political races this fall have one commonality between candidates. Many candidates live in Andover.

Republicans Paul Adams and Alex Vispoli and Democrat Barry Finegold are running for state senate. Kevin Cuff is running for state rep. of the 17th Essex. Barbara L'Italien and Jim Lyons will square off again for the 18th.

Then there's the Northern Essex District Registry of Deeds race. Three of the five candidates live in town.

Incumbent Robert "Bob" Kelley, a Democrat, has lived on William Street for 35 years.

John "Jack" Wilson of Bayberry Lane pulled papers to run against Kelley. Even though he has a long Democratic family history - he's related to former Sen. Patricia McGovern, a Democrat - Wilson is running as a Republican.

Independent candidate Brian T. Corrigan lives on Cobblestone Lane.

Each man has said they're ready for the race.

"I think people will be pleased to hear that this office runs smoothly and I want to continue that," said Kelley, whose current term ends in December.

The $90,000-a-year register of deeds job heads the Northern Essex District Registry of Deeds, a filing center for Lawrence, Methuen, Andover and North Andover property records. The center is located at Sal's Riverwalk, 435 Merrimack St., Lawrence, just off Interstate 495.

"We have digitized records from as far back as 1869...and when state cuts meant layoffs or downsizing, we downsized from 17,000-square-feet to 11,000-square-feet at the Riverwalk," Kelley said.

Meanwhile, Wilson said his experience will be great for the job.

"Real estate is my world," he said. "This is an important job, a full-time job."

Wilson currently works in private practice as a real estate attorney and was most likely referring to Kelley, who was documented on camera by FOX-25 last year working at his private law office, running errands while on state-paid work time. In response, Kelley has told The Eagle-Tribune: "If I made any error in judgement, I've certainly learned from them and moved on."

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