No contested races in Wilmington town election Saturday
WILMINGTON — The annual town election this Saturday promises to go on with little fanfare, as there are no contested races.
Current Selectmen Greg Bendel and Kevin Caira are running for re-election to the board, which has two open seats for three-year terms. On the School Committee, incumbents Jay Samaha and Jesse Fennelly are running for re-election, and newcomer Stephen Turner is running for the third open spot, also for three-year terms.
Bendel has been on the board for six years and also sits on the Senior Center Building Committee and Wildwood School Building Committee. He is a native of Wilmington and a graduate of Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, UMass Lowell and Salem State University, where he earned a master’s degree. He works as a high school teacher and coach.
“No one person can accomplish things in local government alone,” Bendel said in a statement. “Being on the Board of Selectmen is a total team effort. I am proud of the things that we have done over the past few years, but we still have much more to do. I recognize that, like most communities in Massachusetts, we have challenges that lie ahead. I want to continue to work with you to be part of the solution to some of these challenges.”
Caira was elected to the board in 2016 and serves on the Town Hall and School Administration Building Committee. He grew up in Wilmington and attended Wilmington Public Schools. He has worked for the city of Amesbury as its retirement administrator since 2012 and previously worked for 21 years as an administrator for the state’s retirement system.
Turner, the only newcomer in the two main races, works in the software industry and said that he believes his experience in finance and accounting, negotiating customer contracts and business administration, will be of use to the School Committee. He praised the work the committee has done in recent years, and said that he wants to help the school district move away from the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on the goals set out in its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.
“I strongly believe that high quality public education is critical to our democracy. Public schools exist for the public good and benefit everyone in the community,” he said. “They are here to prepare our children to take their place as productive and respectful citizens in our society. They also are a place for people of the town to come together and build the connections of our community.”
Fennelly was elected in 2019 and also serves on the Town Hall and School Administration Building Committee. According to LinkedIn, he works as a manager of marketing and communications at AmeriHealth.
Samaha also joined the committee in 2019. He works as a special education teacher in Boston.
In addition, Gwendilyn Hupper-Lawson is running unopposed for a three-year term on the Shawsheen Tech School Committee and Stacie Murphy is running unopposed for a five-year term on the Housing Authority.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. For more information on polling locations, visit wilmingtonma.gov.