TOWN ELECTION NEWS: Kevin MacDonald Pulls Papers To Challenge Town Moderator Robert Peterson Jr.

WILMINGTON, MA — In a last minute development, resident Kevin MacDonald pulled nomination papers to run for Town Moderator on Wednesday, just two days before the Friday, March 9 filing deadline.

MacDonald will have just 48 hours to collect the necessary 50 signatures from registered voters.  He deployed a similar strategy last election season, pulling nomination papers for Selectmen last year just one day before the filing deadline.  He was able to secure a spot on the ballot, but ultimately suffered a third place loss to Selectmen Ed Loud and Mike McCoy.

Peterson, who is seeking his second 3-year term as Town Moderator, and MacDonald are no stranger to one another. Peterson ejected MacDonald from two of the last three Annual Town Meetings after MacDonald ignored repeated warnings and continued to display improper behavior.

Last year, the Annual Meeting came to a literal standstill for five minutes after MacDonald was told to leave the auditorium and refused. Leading up to the ejection, MacDonald was called to order four times by Peterson for not following instructions.  MacDonald refused to leave his seat when asked to do so by the police.  Instead of having MacDonald forcibly removed, Peterson asked Police Chief Michael Begonis to sit next to MacDonald for the duration of the meeting.  Peterson also noted that he would no longer recognize MacDonald if he attempted to speak.  Shortly thereafter, MacDonald got back up to speak at a microphone and – at that point – was escorted out by the police.

MacDonald frequently butted heads with Peterson’s predecessor, Jim Stewart, as well. Stewart also ejected MacDonald from Town Meeting on multiple occasions.

With just two days before nomination papers filing deadline, below is the latest on how things currently stand:

Wilmington Board of Selectmen — 1 seat — 3-year term

  • Jonathan Eaton (challenger) — pulled papers on 1/2 — papers returned on 2/14 — signatures certified on 2/21
  • Joseph Infantino (challenger) — pulled papers on 1/18 — withdrew from race
  • Joseph R. Mastrangelo — pulled papers on 2/22 — papers not yet returned & certified
  • Robert A. Fasulo, Jr. — pulled papers on 2/22 — papers returned on 2/26 — signatures certified on 2/27

NOTES: Incumbent Mike Champoux has announced he will NOT be seeking re-election.  Infantino has told the Lowell Sun he may not return his nomination papers.

Wilmington School Committee — 2 seats — 3-year term

  • Mary Jayne (MJ) Byrnes (incumbent) — pulled papers on 1/3 — papers returned on 2/15 – signatures certified on 2/21
  • Jesse Fennelly (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/5 — papers returned on 2/27 — signatures certified on 2/27
  • David Ragsdale (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/13 — papers returned on 2/20 — signatures certified on 2/21

NOTE: Incumbent Manny Mulas has announced he will NOT be seeking re-election.

Wilmington Town Moderator — 1 seat — 3-year term

  • Robert G. Peterson, Jr. (incumbent) — pulled papers on 1/11 — papers returned on 2/22 — signatures certified on 2/28
  • Kevin MacDonald — pulled papers on 3/7 — papers not yet returned & certified

Shawsheen Tech School Committee — 1 seat — 3-year term

  • James Gillis (incumbent) — pulled papers on 1/9 — papers returned on 2/21 — signatures certified on 2/23

Wilmington Housing Authority Seat — 1 seat — 5-year term

  • Robert C. DiPasquale (incumbent) — pulled papers on 1/9 — papers returned on 3/5 — signatures not yet certified

Nomination papers have been available in the Town Clerk’s Office since January 2.  Papers, with at least 50 valid signatures from Wilmington voters, are due back to the Town Clerk by Friday, March 9.

The Wilmington Town Clerk’s Office, located at Town Hall, is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The Annual Town Election will be held on Saturday, April 28.  Polls will be open from 8am to 8pm.

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