Haverhill Democratic City Committee Puts Out Last Call to Breakfast Saturday

The Haverhill Democratic City Committee is putting out the last call for the public to hear Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff, meet candidates for local office and take part in a straw poll. Duff, who is running for Southern Essex District Register of Deeds next year, will be honored as the Haverhill Democratic City Committee’s Distinguished Democrat during the Roz McKeon Annual Breakfast Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10-11:30 a.m., at Maria’s Restaurant, Galleria Banquet Room, 85 Essex St., Haverhill. Duff has served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council since being elected in 2012 and is being honored for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Democratic Party and the City of Haverhill.  Democratic candidates in the upcoming municipal election for mayor, City Council and School Committee, have also been invited to say a few words and all candidates will be recognized. The Committee will also be conducting its popular straw poll for the Tuesday, Nov.

Campaign News: Barrett, Michitson Events; Diaz Enters School Race; Pfeil Praises Modular Classrooms

With Haverhill’s final election less than a month off, candidates are visiting with voters and staging events. Mayoral candidate and City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett and City Councilor John A. Michitson, a candidate for one of the four at-large City Council seats, are having events tonight and tomorrow. Barrett is having a “Taco Tuesday with Melinda,” tonight from 6-9 p.m., at the American Legion Post 4, 1314 N. Main St., Haverhill. The event features state Sens. Barry R. Finegold and Pavel Payano, state Reps.

Ward 1’s Veras Suspends Campaign for Health Reasons; Sought Minority-Majority Representation

Alex Veras, who advocated for decades for neighborhood representation, will have to sit out his own run for Haverhill ward councilor because of illness. While his name remains on the ballot for Ward 1, Veras notified Haverhill City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright last week that he is suspending his campaign. He tells WHAV he recently endured surgery to remove tumors from his jawbone and throat area which affects his ability to speak for long lengths of time. “So far, the prognosis is good. I’ll survive this.

Haverhill Recount Confirms Preliminary Mayoral Election Result and Confidence in Local Democracy

Haverhill’s mayoral recount Wednesday made little difference in the preliminary election result, but appeared to have strengthened confidence in how local elections are managed. City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett maintained her commanding, nearly 4-1 lead over School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr., adding 10 votes for a revised total of 3,888 votes. Wood lost a vote, now totaling 1,032 votes, while retired police officer Guy E. Cooper gained one for a total of 1,024. Cooper, who asked for the recount, thanked poll workers and city clerk’s office calling them “top notch.”

“We saw democracy—number one—happen right in front of us today. It was a good turnout and, again, there were some issues here and there, but nothing big, and they were solved right away,” he said.

Haverhill City Council Candidates to Take Questions From High School Students at Oct. 16 Forum

Candidates for Haverhill City Council will find themselves taking tough questions and being grilled by Haverhill High School students during an October forum. The City Council Forum, open to the public, is conducted by AP Government students of instructor Shaun Ashworth. Ashworth succeeds Tom Jordan, who retired last year as course instructor. “I think this is an important event that we hold because it allows our students to interact with our elected officials about the issues that concern them the most. It’s also a great opportunity for our local leaders to hear from the next generation of voters and what’s on their mind.

Haverhill Councilors Back Ballot Questions That Could Limit Candidates Holding Several Jobs

The full City Council, as expected, ratified two non-binding ballot questions asking voters to weigh in on whether a candidate should be allowed to run for, or hold, two elected offices at the same time. As WHAV reported first late last month, a subcommittee recommended placing the questions before voters. Those sprung from a proposal by Council President Timothy J. Jordan, Council Vice President John A. Michitson and Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski to ask voters opinions about a charter change to prohibit someone from running for more than on elected position in the same election cycle. Haverhill City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright read the two questions at Tuesday’s meeting. “Shall the following home rule petition providing that no person shall hold the office of mayor, city councilor or School Committee member while simultaneously holding any other elected or appointed office of the city, or holding a position with the city for which the salary or compensation is payable out of the city treasury be adopted and forwarded to the General Court for enactment?”

The second question goes a bit further, asking voters if a person should be able to run for two or more offices in the same election cycle.

Haverhill Mayoral Candidate Wood Withdraws Citing ‘Falsehoods;’ Cooper Joins Barrett on Fall Ballot

Mayoral candidate and sitting 20-year School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr., leaves public life at the end of the year after choosing by Monday’s deadline to end his mayoral run. Wood’s withdrawal, followed by his preliminary election elimination from a Ward 4 School Committee post, represents his precipitous fall since June when allegations resurfaced of racist and misogynist conduct while he was working as a police officer. The revelations came to light in Wood’s own suit against the city, challenging the loss of police jobs in Haverhill in 2021 and Wenham in 2022. “I look forward to addressing and clearing my name from the baseless accusations and falsehoods that have circulated. My commitment to Haverhill has never wavered, and it never will,” Wood said in a statement.

Official Haverhill Preliminary Election Vote Counts to be Decided Tuesday by Board of Registrars

Haverhill’s Board of Registrars meets Tuesday to consider provisional ballots cast during this week’s preliminary election and approve the final results. The outcome will likely have no effect on mayoral frontrunner Melinda E. Barrett, who garnered an updated 3,891 votes Tuesday, but could lead to a recount to decide the second name to appear on November’s final city ballot. Scott W. Wood Jr. placed a distant second, coming in at 1,036 votes, but only 10 votes behind him was Guy E. Cooper. According to Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s office, residents who may have fallen off local voting rolls may cast a provisional ballot, but any votes won’t be counted until voter registration status is confirmed. With few votes between them, final election results could change.