TOWN ELECTION: 9 Residents Pull Papers To Run For School Committee, Fasulo To Run For Selectmen; Eaton To Run For Town Moderator

WILMINGTON, MA — With less than a week until the filing deadline (Friday, March 5, 2021), 13 residents have pulled nomination papers to run for public office in this April’s Town Election.

Incumbent Selectman Jonathan Eaton recently announced he would not be seeking re-election, instead setting his sights on the Town Moderator position. Current Town Moderator Robert Peterson Jr. announced this summer he would be seeking a third term.

As a result of Eaton’s decision, Wilmington is guaranteed a new member of the Board of Selectmen. Two residents have pulled papers to date — Lilia Maselli and, most recently, Robert Fasulo Jr. Maselli serves on the town’s Economic Development Committee. Fasulo, meanwhile, is the Chair of the Wilmington Republican Town Committee. This would be his third time running for Selectmen — he finished a close second to Eaton in 2018 (1,105 vs. 1,449) and placed fourth in a crowded six-way race for two seats in 2019.

While races for Housing Authority (no candidates), Town Moderator (one candidate), and Shawsheen Tech School Committee (one candidate) remain quiet, the interest in serving on the Wilmington School Committee has been at all-time high, with 9 candidates pulling nomination papers.

For the one 2-year seat, to fill the remainder of Steve Bjork’s unexpired term, five residents have stepped forward — Justin Cusce, Yvone Helbert, Emily Irving, Jodi Campbell and Melissa Plowman. Wilmington Apple will have more on each candidate after the filing deadline. As of mid-afternoon Friday, only Irving had returned her nomination papers. Plowman is reporting on social media that she has since submitted her papers as well.

For the two “regular” 3-year seats, incumbents MJ Byrnes and David Ragsdale are the only candidates in the race to have returned their nomination papers. Challengers Michelle Giuliana and James Defeo have until Friday to return their papers. Irving, who pulled for both the 2-year seat and the 3-year seats, only returned papers for the 2-year seat.

Current Snapshot: 

According to the Town Clerk’s Office, here are how things stand as of February 26, 2021 at 2pm. Candidates in bold have actually returned their nomination papers.

Wilmington Board of Selectmen — 1 seats — 3-year terms

  • Lilia Maselli (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/19 — has not returned yet
  • Robert Fasulo Jr. (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/22 — has not returned yet

After pulling nomination papers, incumbent Selectmen Chair Jonathan Eaton announced he would not be seeking re-election. He is seeking the open Town Moderator position instead.

Wilmington School Committee — 2 seats — 3-year terms

  • MJ Brynes (incumbent) — pulled papers on 1/6 — returned papers on 2/19
  • David Ragsdale (incumbent) — pulled papers on 1/20 — returned papers on 2/22
  • Emily Irving (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/12 — has not returned yet
  • Michelle Giuliana (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/19 — has not returned yet
  • James Defeo (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/23 — has not returned yet

Wilmington School Committee — 1 seat — 2-year unexpired term (filling the vacancy left by Steve Bjork’s resignation) 

  • Justin Cusce — pulled papers on 2/18 — has not returned yet
  • Yvonne Helbert — pulled papers on 2/19 — has not returned yet
  • Emily Irving — pulled papers on 2/19 — returned papers on 2/25
  • Jodi Campbell — pulled papers on 2/22 — has not returned yet
  • Melissa Plowman — pulled papers on 2/23 — has not returned yet

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

  • Charles Fiore, Jr. (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/8 — has not returned yet

Longtime incumbent Jim Gillis has not pulled nomination papers to date.

Wilmington Town Moderator — 1 seat — 3-year term

  • Jonathan Eaton (challenger) — pulled papers on 2/27 — has not returned yet

Incumbent Robert Peterson, Jr. announced at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting in June that he would not be seeking re-election.

Wilmington Housing Authority — 1 seat — 5-year term

  • No candidates

Incumbent John Alefantis, who serves as the Authority’s Chairman, has not pulled nomination papers to date.

Nomination papers have been available since January 4, 2021. Papers with at least 50 valid signatures from Wilmington voters are due back to the Town Clerk by March 5, 2021.

To date, no candidate has returned their nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s Office.

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