Published February 6, 2020


NORTH READING — Incumbent Town Moderator John J. Murphy of Duane Drive has pulled nomination papers to run for his 16th consecutive one-year team. It’s the only elected seat in the annual town election with a one-year term.

Murphy was first elected to the post in 2004 and previously served as a member of the Board of Selectmen.

He joins two other incumbents, School Committee Chairman Scott Buckley and Community Planning Commission (CPC) member Christopher Hayden, and one newcomer, Select Board candidate Vincenzo Stuto, in pulling nomination papers for these respective positions.

Nomination papers must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office for certification by St. Patrick’s Day (that’s Tuesday, March 17) by 5 p.m. with the signatures of at least 50 eligible North Reading voters before a candidate is officially on the ballot for the May 5 election.

In this year’s election, only one seat on each of four boards is up for renewal plus the town moderator’s seat, which is an annual election. Select Board, School Committee and CPC positions are three-year terms. The remaining seat is a five-year term on the Housing Authority. Incumbent Mary Prenney has not yet pulled papers for that seat. She is also the town’s Director of Elder Affairs.

Election Day: May 5

The basics: Election Day is Tuesday, May 5 and the deadline for candidates to return their nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s office is Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m. The Town Clerk’s office will remain open an extra hour on the deadline day to accept the nomination papers.

All candidates are required to obtain a minimum of 50 signatures from town residents who are registered to vote in the town of North Reading to be eligible to be included on the ballot. Therefore, Town Clerk Barbara Stats advises candidates to submit more than the minimum number of signatures required because her office is unable to certify signatures that are “duplications, illegible or ineligible.”

Once a candidate is certified as eligible to run for an elective office, the last day that candidate can choose to withdraw his or her name from the ballot is Thursday, April 2 at 5 p.m.

Register to vote

The last day a resident of the town can register to vote to participate in the May 5 annual town election is Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

The last day to register to vote to also participate in the Presidential Primary on March 3 is next Wednesday, Feb. 12 (see related story).

Elective offices for 2020

Five seats on four boards plus the town moderator’s seat are up for election this year. This is the year that only one position on each board is up for renewal. The names of incumbents are listed in parentheses.

• One seat for a three-year term on the Select Board (Andrew Schultz);

• One seat for a one-year term for Town Moderator (John Murphy);

• One seat for a three-year term on the School Committee (Scott Buckley);

• One seat for a three-year term on the Community Planning Commission (Christopher Hayden);

• One seat for a five-year term on the Housing Authority (Mary Prenney).

Candidates for any municipal office are required to file campaign finance reports on specific dates per the provisions of Mass. General Laws Chapter 55. Those with questions about this process may contact the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance for assistance by phone: 617-727-8352, email: or visit the website at

For additional assistance the public may also call the Town Clerk’s office at 978-357-5218.