Methuen Mayoral Race Heats Up with Jajuga Retirement

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Multiple local communities hold municipal elections Tuesday, Nov. 5, with Methuen’s balloting getting particular attention for its mayoral contest.

Four candidates are running to succeed Mayor James P. Jajuga, who announced he would retire after one term in June. City Councilor Jennifer Aziz Kannan, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013, is in the race, along with educator Neil Perry, Realtor Dan Shibilia and Don Riccio. Two of the candidates will be eliminated in the preliminary Tuesday, Sept. 17, with the remaining two facing off in November.

In addition to the mayoral race, two races for City Council feature preliminaries. In the Central District, incumbents James McCarty and Joyce C. Campagnone face School Committeeman Dennis D.J. Deeb, Joel Fartetra and Jordan Normandia. The West District also requires a September vote, with Mike Simard, Allison Saffie, Bill Bryant, Frank Gallo and Jeri-an Kalil Batal vying for two open seats.

The city’s at-large council race goes directly to a November contest, with incumbent Jessica L. Finocchiaro facing opposition from David J. Beauregard, Steve Angelo, Arthur Hardy and School Committeeman Nicholas DiZoglio. Three seats are up for grabs in the contest.

Two major races in the city, however, are unopposed. In the East District, incumbent City Councilors Eunice D. Zeigler and Steven J. Saba were the only candidates to file, while for the School Committee, incumbents Susan Nicholson and Janna Zanni Pesce join Jessica MacLeod, Ryan DiZoglio, Karen Hallbauer and Kerrie Abate to fill the committee’s six seats.

In other contests, Karen Jerz and Dennis DiZoglio face no opponents for two seats as trustees of Nevins Memorial Library, while Frank Surillo is the only candidate for two seats on the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee. Similarly, Michelle Bibeau is the only individual vying for two spots on the housing authority.

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