By Dustin Luca
---- — It sounds like a state representative race. Former State Rep. Barbara L’Italien and former candidate for the state legislature Sal Tabit are both running for Andover School Committee.
They and incumbent Paula Colby-Clements will vie for two seats on the committee.
L’Italien pulled her papers to run Tuesday at around 9:30 a.m. and returned them before the afternoon deadline. By 5 p.m. the town clerk’s office has certified 71 voter signatures, with four more pages of signatures available from L’Italien, said Town Clerk Larry Murphy.
L’Italien said the recent news that Dick Collins, for 54 years an Andover High School teacher, coach, and most recently, School Committee member, wasn’t running was part of what inspired her to throw her name in the ring. The encouragement of others also influenced her, she said.
“Literally last night, an email chain went around, and a bunch of people were saying, ‘How come Barbara hasn’t run?’” L’Italien said Tuesday. “I figured, if it was meant to be, we could get the signatures today.”
She believes her experience in the state legislature would benefit the School Committee, saying “my connections at the state level can be helpful. My best friend is the director of Education.” Her recent position with the state treasurer’s office would also be beneficial to the committee, she said, and she notes that her son is an Andover High student.
In addition to the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen also has a three-way race for two open seats.
Running for the Board of Selectmen are incumbents Paul Salafia, of South Main Street, and Alex Vispoli, of Alison Way. Challenging them is Chandler Road resident Larry Bruce, who has run for office previously.
Cyr Circle resident Mary Carbone pulled papers to run for office last week, but she didn’t return them before the deadline passed Tuesday afternoon, Murphy said.
The following uncontested, one-seat races are also on the ballot.
TOWN MODERATOR (for one year): incumbent Sheila Doherty, of Juniper Road.
HOUSING AUTHORITY (for five years): incumbent Janice Burkholder, of Arundel Street.
TRUSTEES OF PUNCHARD FREE SCHOOL (three years): Randall Hanson, previous town clerk and current Pasho Street resident.
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.