By: Tom Duggan – April 04, 2005
Just as I reported after the November Presidential election (which was a bittersweet moment), I was again blessed with the same feelings and emotions following this week’s North Andover town elections.
Why, you ask? Well, in November I was thrilled with George Bush’s victory, the defeat of liberal ballot initiatives nationwide and Republican victories in the House, Senate and Governorships across the country. Of course, it wasn’t all good news. Talented Republicans like Maria Marasco and other Massachusetts conservatives fell to defeat as home state Senator John Kerry had long coattails at the local level.
The town elections in North Andover last month also left me feeling bittersweet. While I am disheartened by the loss of Selectman Wendy Wakeman, a true Republican and conservative activist, I was thrilled that three of the four positions up for election went to Republicans.
They were: William Kelly and Tim Pybus, who were elected to the School Committee, and incumbent Selectman James Xenakis who was reelected.
All Politics is Local
I know, I know, local elections are supposed to be non-partisan. And that may be true for the average voter, but it’s not true for the candidates and certainly not true for me. The fact is, whether liberal or conservative, a local candidate’s views and ideologies about taxes, social welfare and education play a large part in the way decisions are made at the community level.
As Vice-Chairman of the North Andover Republican Town Committee, it is my job to help recruit and elect local, state and national Republicans to advance a conservative agenda. I take my job very seriously and once again it seems to have paid off.
In fact, as of this past election cycle, the North Andover School Committee is made up of three Republicans, one Unenrolled and one Libertarian. Not one Democrat!
And of course, any conservative paying attention to the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committtee race was elated when former LAWRENCE City Councilor Leonard Degnan lost to a virtual unknown named Jack Driscoll.
No More Overrides!
For fiscal conservatives, the election was also exciting because the Proposition 2½ Override failed by over a 2 to 1 margin, which was an even greater margin of defeat than the failed general override three years ago.
Most of the credit for the override defeat must go to conservatives like Police Officer Danny Lanen and Ted Tripp, President of the North Andover Taxpayers Association. Voters in town have spoken and the people have flat-out rejected overrides. The message they are sending town officials is clear: “no new taxes, live within your means!”
I am already looking forward to next year’s Selectman and School Committee races. According to our inside information, it looks like Danny Lanen vs. Mark Caggiano for next years race for Board of Selectman.
Once again it will be a tax and spend Democrat in town versus an anti-override conservative.
But, We Are Not Andover
People are always comparing Andover to North Andover, but I can say that when it comes to local elections, I am thrilled that we are nothing like Andover. While North Andover had five candidates running for two seats on the School Committee and five candidates running for two seats on the Board of Select-men, Andover had no contested races.
And while over 6,000 or 35% of North Andover’s registered voters came out to vote last month, Andover had a total of 484 voters.
Again, I am extremely proud to be a North Andover Republican.