Published February 27, 2020

Updated from the print edition at 3:30 p.m. February 27, 2020


NORTH READING — After listening to stump speeches and campaign ads while trying to avoid Facebook arguments for the past year, voters will finally have their say when they head to the polls for the Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 3.

Voters in all four of the town’s precincts will cast their ballots in the Parish Hall of St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Super Tuesday.

In addition, the Early Voting option is still available for another day and a half at Town Hall, 235 North St., during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. This past Monday, the first day Early Voting was an option in this primary, 124 town residents took the opportunity to cast their ballots, which is 1.09% of the town’s electorate, according to numbers provided by the Town Clerk’s office.

Voters may also apply for an absentee ballot until noon on Monday, March 2. All absentee ballots must be returned before the polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.

Ballots are available for four party parties: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green-Rainbow.

Only those voters registered as Unenrolled or in one of the smaller political designations will be allowed to choose one of the four ballots at check-in. The party affiliations of these voters will revert back to their original affiliation after the primary. Voters enrolled in a specific party must choose their party’s ballot.

Super big

Massachusetts joins 13 other states which are holding primaries on Super Tuesday. Voters living in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont will also head to the polls along with those from the Bay State.

Town Clerk Barbara Stats said there are currently 11,383 registered voters in North Reading, which is an increase of 548 voters since the last Presidential Primary in 2016.  Inactive voters will be able to cast their ballots after completing an affidavit of current residency and providing a poll worker with identification with their name and North Reading voting address, Stats said.

Stats believes voter turnout will be super high on Super Tuesday, therefore, she cautions voters who will be casting their ballots or traveling along Route 62 between Kitty’s and the town center during peak voting periods to exercise patience, particularly with regard to the anticipated volume of voters entering and exiting between 7-9 a.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Democratic ballot

There are 15 presidential candidates appearing on the Democratic Party ballot, seven of whom dropped out before Super Tuesday. The candidates who have not dropped out prior to Super Tuesday, as of press time, and whose names appear on the ballot are former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman/activist Tom Steyer, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The eight Democratic candidates who have dropped out of the race but whose names still appear on the ballot are former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, businessman Andrew Yang, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, and author Marianne Wilkinson.

The Democratic State Committeeman up for re-election in the First Essex and Middlesex District, representing North Reading, is Thomas Lawnsby of Hamilton. The Democratic State Committeewoman candidate in the First Essex and Middlesex District, representing North Reading, is Carla C. Christensen of Essex.

Voters can also elect up to 35 candidates to a seat on the Democratic Town Committee. The can choose to elect the entire group by filling in the “group” oval at the top of the list. The 14 North Reading Democratic Town Committee candidates appearing on the ballot are: Susan M. Holsing, Michael E. Houle, Dianne M. Heeley, Nicholas J. DiGiovanni, Sara-Jane Griffin, William K. Griffin, Georgette C. DiGiovanni, Esther R. Friedman, Patrick R. Gamelin, Michelle Mullet, Christopher J. Keohan, Brian E. Blackwood, Christine E. Boudouris and Daniel B. Greenberg. The balance of the seats are available for write-in candidates.

Republican ballot

President Donald Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination, however, three opponents in the Republican primary are challenging the 45th president.

These GOP challengers to President Trump are former Massachusetts Governor nominee Bill Weld, who ran as the Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate in 2016; businessman Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh.

Walsh already dropped out of the race while De La Fuente is running for the Republican nomination in California’s 21st congressional district.

State Committeeman, Committeewoman races

North Reading is part of the First Essex and Middlesex District and in this district on the Republican ballot there are two-way races for both State Committeeman and State Committeewoman.

The race for the Republican State Committeeman seat is between North Reading resident Jeffrey R. Yull, who is the current chairman of the North Reading Republican Town Committee and a former Selectman in town, and Richard A. Baker of West Newbury.

The race for the Republican State Committeewoman seat is between Amanda Kesterson of Gloucester and Laura M. Sapienza-Grabski of Boxford who is also listed on the ballot as the Agricultural Commissioner and a former member of the Boxford Board of Health.

Republican voters can also elect up to 35 candidates for the town’s Republican Town Committee or they can choose to elect the entire group by filling in the oval or they can fill in the ovals for specific candidates.

The Republican Town Committee candidates on the March 3 ballot are: Jeffrey R. Yull, Irene B. Yull, Roy F. Walters, Liane R. Gonzalez, James Nelson, Linda M. Stratton, Richard B. Stratton, Laina A. Simone, Robert B. Leith, Linda L. Leith, Rexford H. Whitmore, Andrew J. DePatie, Richard A. Mottolo, Hugo W. Wiberg III, Bradley H. Jones Jr., Jean G. Jones, Bradley H. Jones, Gordon R. Hall, Lisa L.M. Macchi, Robert J. Mauceri, Charles F. Garlington, Janet A. Vincze, Joyce A. Jenney, Lee D. Atlas, Linda A. Jones, Sheila A. Maxwell. There are also nine remaining spots for write-in candidates.

Libertarian ballot

There are 10 candidates appearing on the Libertarian Party ballot. They are former Libertarian National Committee vice chairman Arvin Vohra, performance artist Vermin Love Supreme, political scientist Jacob George Hornberger, software engineer Sam Robb, Los Angeles-born speaker Dan “Taxation is Theft” Behrman, political activist Kimberly Ruff, former military officer Kenneth Reed Armstrong, radio host Adam Kokesh, former Libertarian Party vice president nominee Jo Jorgenson, and New Hampshire House of Representatives lawmaker Max Abramson.

Unlike the Democratic and Republican primaries, there are no Libertarian Party state committeeman, state committeewoman and town committee candidates appearing on the ballot.

Green-Rainbow Party ballot

There are four candidates running for the Green-Rainbow Party nomination for president. They are attorney/rabbi Dario Hunter, activist Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry, retired air quality inspector and emergency shelter manager Kent Mesplay, and activist/Green Party co-founder Howard Hawkins.

There are no Green-Rainbow Party candidates for state committeeman, state committeewoman and town committee.