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May 11, 2013

Election contests shaping up in Amesbury

AMESBURY — The fall election field is beginning to take shape, as new candidates in multiple City Council districts have emerged to challenge the sitting councilors.

Nomination papers became available at the City Clerk’s office on Thursday morning, and so far seven candidates have pulled papers, signaling their intent to run for office. Out of those seven, four were newcomers while three were incumbents.

Perhaps the most intriguing development came in District 4, where longtime city counselor Bob Lavoie will be challenged by newcomer Daniel Talbot of 15 Maple St.

Lavoie has been a city councilor since 2005 and will be running for his fifth term in office. Reached on his cell yesterday, Lavoie said he wasn’t acquainted with Talbot but was happy that other citizens were getting involved in city politics.

“The council members that I’ve been acquainted with have always encouraged other people to run,” Lavoie said. “I’m happy for the competition, and I’m looking forward to debating with any other candidate who gathers enough signatures.”

The District 6 councilor race has a new entrant, as well. Dave Haraske of 8 Moody St. pulled papers on Thursday, signaling his intent to challenge incumbent Derek Kimball should he run for re-election.

Kimball, who has served two terms on the City Council, said he’s still undecided at this point on whether he will run for re-election. Right now, his focus is on the upcoming budget season, and he hasn’t given the election much thought at this point, he said yesterday.

“I’ll definitely make a decision after the budget, once we’ve worked through the busy season,” Kimball said.

A third candidate entered the mayoral race early this week when local technology executive Ken Gray of 60 Merrimac St., Unit 912 announced he would be challenging Mayor Thatcher Kezer in this fall’s election. Jim Thivierge of 106 Friend St., who has run several times for mayor, announced he would be running once again back in February.

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