Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

January 24, 2014

Selectman's race shaping up

Second candidate pulls papers for Lyman's seat

By Bill Kirk

---- — There may be a race for the open seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Tuesday morning, Jodi Oberto, 46, of 11 Hartford Circle, pulled nomination papers to run for selectman in the March 25 town election.

Oberto, who last ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2010, is a sales representative for BPC Products Inc., a machine shop she owns with her husband, John, that’s based in Andover. They have two daughters in local schools.

She said she is running for selectman because the timing is right and because she wants to contribute to solving the town’s problems.

“We have to keep costs under control,” Oberto said. “We are all feeling the same pressure — financial and otherwise. I’d like to be a part of helping us through that if I can.”

Oberto moved to Andover in 1995 after she and her husband got married. She is originally from Burlington and graduated from Burlington High School.

She said she plans on gathering the necessary 50 signatures by the Feb. 4 filing deadline.

In 2010, she ran as an Independent for state senator against incumbent Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, and Republican Jamison Tomasek, with Finegold coming out as the winner.

She does not currently serve on any boards or commissions, but said she has volunteered over the years for her church and the town’s Department of Community Services.

Oberto is the second person to pull papers for the open seat being vacated by Selectman Mary Lyman, who announced earlier this month that she would not be a candidate for re-election.

Kevin Cuff, 49, of 265 Beacon St., has also picked up nomination papers from the town clerk’s office.

In 2012, Cuff ran an unsuccessful campaign as an Independent for the state representative’s seat in the 17th District, which represents three precincts in Andover, three wards in Lawrence and one precinct in Methuen.

He won the Andover precincts, but lost heavily in Lawrence to former City Council President Frank Moran, who won the race.

Oberto said she thought about running several times since the 2010 campaign, but the timing wasn’t quite right.

Now, she said, she’s in a better position. Her oldest child, 16-year-old Olivia, is a sophomore at Andover High School and Abigail, 10, is a fourth-grader at South Elementary School.

“My kids are a little older, it’s a better fit and a better time,” she said.