Friday, June 11, 2004
Candidates prepare for fall elections
The deadline for party candidates running in the September 14 primary for statewide office has come and gone. Two incumbent Democrats, State Senator Susan Fargo (Third Middlesex District) of Lincoln and State Representative Cory Atkins (Fourteenth Middlesex District) of Concord will run unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot. Susan Fargo has served in the State Senate since 1997 and serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and as chair of the Local Affairs Committee and Energy caucus, among her many committee assignments. Cory Atkins, who was first elected to her position in 1999, serves on the Science and Technology and Transportation Committees.
On the Republican side, John Thibault of Chelmsford and Doug Stevenson of Carlisle will also run unopposed for state senator and state representative, respectively. Thibault is a retired high tech executive and has two years experience on the Chelmsford Finance Committee. Stevenson has served on the Board of Selectmen in Carlisle since 1997.
While deadlines have passed for party candidates running for state office, unenrolled or nonparty candidates have until August 3 to register locally so that their names will be placed on the November 2 statewide ballot.
Richard McClure of Chelmsford had taken out papers to run as an Independent candidate for state senate, opposing Fargo in the November election. However, because he voted in the March 2 Democratic primary, he was denied a place on the fall ballot. Massachusetts law states that to run as a non-party candidate in a state election, one may not be enrolled in a political party between February 24 and the deadline for filing nomination papers with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
McClure claims that he was asked which party primary ballot he wanted and specifically told the Town Clerk he did not wish to change his party enrollment.
The U.S. District Court ruled against McClure on May 17. McClure is appealing this decision to the US Appellate Court that will be heard by a three judge panel. He hopes to get an expedited hearing and a decision within 60 days.
Independent candidates running for state or federal office are allowed to vote in a presidential party primary, but not if they seek local (district and county) office.
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