Haverhill Voters Make It Clear They Want Candidates to Seek Only One Seat at a Time

Katrina Hobbs-Everett becomes the first black woman to be elected to the Haverhill City Council. (Mike Jarvis photograph for WHAV News.)

Haverhill voters responded last night with a resounding “no” to the idea of candidates seeking and holding more than one office and defeated two candidates who sought to do so.

Coincidentally or not, incumbent School Committee member Toni Sapienza-Donais lost both the Ward 2 School Committee seat and Ward 2 City Council post. Likewise, Fred A. Simmons lost his bids for an at-large City Council seat and Ward 4 School Committee seat.

The first ballot question asked whether a person should be prevented from holding the office of mayor, city councilor or School Committee member while simultaneously holding any other elected or appointed office of the city or another position with the city for which they are paid out of the city treasury. That question received a total of 8,310 yes votes compared to 1,343 no votes.

The second question went a bit further asking if a person should be prevented from running for two or more offices in the same election cycle. That question received a total of 8,580 yes votes and only 1,172 no votes. Sapienza-Donais and Simmons would not have been affected by the vote since they were specifically exempted and the measures were non-binding and would not take effect anyway until approved by the legislature in a future home-rule petition.

In the School Committee race, Sapienza-Donais was defeated 846-316 by longtime fellow committee member Gail M. Sullivan. Sapienza-Donais also lost to Katrina Hobbs-Everett for the Ward 2 City Council post by a vote of 371-816.

Five candidates were running for four at-large positions on the City Council with Simmons coming in fifth with 3,850 votes. Regarding his bid for School Committee, Simmons fell to Mikaela D. Lalumiere for that position by a vote of 1,374 to 552.

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