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January 3, 2013

Eight vie for City Council

Council could fill O'Connor Ives seat Jan. 14

NEWBURYPORT — Eight residents have put their name into the running to replace newly elected state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives on the City Council.

The candidates for the open seat are Paula Chambers, 31 Federal St.; Larry Giunta Jr., 139 Crow Lane; Steve Hutcheson, 76 Longfellow Drive; Larry McCavitt, 5 Madison St.; Ralph Orlando, 4 William Hall Drive; Robert Rothberg, 15 School St.; Warren Russo, 182 Northern Blvd.; and Mary Zinck, 61 Laurel Road.

The vacancy is for an at-large seat, which means the City Council will choose the new representative, who will serve until the next election in November. The choice does not involve approval by the mayor.

Two candidates, Hutcheson and McCavitt, are former city councilors.

Hutcheson, who served three two-year terms before being defeated in November 2011, said, “I want to finish up the term that I ran for last election. I ran last time to continue my work to help the schools be successful and to work on historic preservation of the city.

“I’m the only person that has held that office (councilor-at-large) and I finished as runner-up in the last election. I can’t think of any reason why someone else would be more suited for or deserve the open seat more than me.”

Hutcheson, an engineer, said it’s not just about him getting back on the council. “Many people have approached me and even my wife at work hoping that I would get back on the council again. I still have more to offer the community and people seem to want me back,” he said.

Russo said that his interest in the position revolves around his appreciation of public service.

“I will be retiring from the Navy reserve in a couple months, and will have more time for community service,” said Russo, who lives on Plum Island. “I have management skills, I was president of Rotary years ago and I think I might be able to contribute to the community.”

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