Wilmington Candidates Brace for Election Saturday
School Committee and Board of Selectmen races take center stage this weekend.
The candidates have made their cases. On Saturday, Wilmington residents will make their choice.
Saturday is Election Day in town, with a pair of contested races taking center stage.
Incumbent Michael Champouxs squares off against challenger Kevin MacDonald, who was often combative during public meetings in recent months, for one seat on the Board of Selectmen.
On the School Committee ballot, incumbent Mario Marchese takes on challengers Manny Mulas and Mary Jane Byrnes in a race for two spots.
“My opponent’s reputation precedes itself,” said Champoux. “I will hope residents use judgment in making their decision on which candidate they support, and I hope they look at how I conduct myself in the community of Wilmington and compare and contrast the two candidates.”
During the candidates’ night hosted by Wilmington Community Television, MacDonald said he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Selectmen and treat it as the peoples’ seat.
MacDonald was not available for comment in advance of this article.
“I believe I have a lot to offer, and what I have to offer is positive input and representation for all of the people of Wilmington,” said MacDonaId during his opening statement of the April 12 debate. “I want to show that I take an interest in all the issues, that I gather the facts, and make a reasonable decision based on all the evidence.”
Mulas ran for School Committee last year, coming in third during on a jam packed ballot.
Following last year’s campaign season, Mulas said he’s more prepared for a spot on the School Committee.
“After being runner up in last year’s election, I continued being intimately involved with the campaign to vote in the new high school,” said Mulas. “I worked side by side with elected officials as well as community leaders making sure we got the votes to make the new high school a reality. I promise to continue the hard work that is required for this positions and if elected I will not let down the wonderful people of Wilmington.”
Byrnes is a member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, which is one of the biggest dimensions she believes she could bring to the School Committee.
As a mother of two special needs children, Byrnes said she brings experience that no current or potential board members have.
“I think the School Committee functions well, but right now there isn’t a huge command of special education,” said Byrnes. “A broader perspective can only help in making sure any decisions handed down take into consideration kids with special needs. If we can save these kids from struggling at an early age and give them the tools they need to navigate middle school and high school, that’s my overall goal.”
While construction of the new high school is the main issue on the forefront for the district, Marchese said there are a variety of other issues that will be critical for the next School Committee members including test scores and budgeting issues.
According to Marchese, his biggest asset is the experience he’s gained since he was elected three years ago.
“I have learned a great deal over the last three years and have gained a world of experience that you just don’t earn overnight,” said Marchese. “I feel that with what I have learned over the last three years, I can enter into a second term hitting the ground running without going through the big learning curve.”
Polls are open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check back with Wilmington Patch for updates throughout the day, including results as they are announced.