Sixth candidate emerges in race for Smith Voc board in Northampton

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Posted: 1/7/2021 23:12:16 PM

NORTHAMPTON – A sixth candidate has announced his intention to run for the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School board, creating a potentially historic challenge for the three elected seats on the board.

All three incumbents are running for re-election against three challengers, and if all are certified for the ballot, that will represent the largest number of board candidates in at least 22 years.

Richard Aquadro, 63, a third-generation commercial carpenter and a 20-year member of Smith Vocational’s carpentry advisory board, said Thursday he withdrew the nomination papers this week.

“I toyed with the idea of ​​running for a few years,” said Aquadro. “Out of respect for my friend Mike Cahillane, I wasn’t going to run until he retired (but) it’s time to mix it up.”

Michael Cahillane, John Cotton and Thomas FitzGerald are collecting signatures to run for re-election for two-year terms on the board, while Thomas Pease and Julie Spencer-Robinson have previously filed nomination papers to challenge incumbents.

Aquadro spent 35 years with Aquadro & Cerruti Inc., a general contractor and construction management company located on Texas Street. He stepped down as owner in October 2016.

If all the challengers win, the board would have three new faces for the first time in 20 years.

Cotton was first elected in 2001, followed by FitzGerald in 2005 and Cahillane in 2009. Since Cahillane’s election, the only contest for seats was in 2013, when the three incumbents defeated two challengers.

The city clerk’s website keeps election results dating back to 1999. If all six candidates are certified for the ballot, the November election will be the first time that more than five candidates will run for the board of directors in the past. of the last 11 elections.

A seventh candidate joining the field would trigger a preliminary election. In order to appear on the ballot, candidates must collect the signatures of 50 registered voters who live in Northampton.

The Board of Trustees also has two ex-officio members: the Mayor of Northampton and the Principal of Northampton Public Schools. Mayor David Narkewicz is not seeking re-election on November 2.

Nomination papers, available at the registry, must be returned to the Board of Directors before July 30 at 5 p.m.

Brian Steele can be reached at [email protected]


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