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Off-to-the-races season shaping up for candidates.

Byline: George Barnes

GARDNER - Unless candidates withdraw before Aug. 30, at minimum there will be four contests on this year's city election ballot, including a race for mayor.

The deadline for taking out nomination papers for the Nov. 6 city election was yesterday afternoon at 4. Candidates who have not yet returned their nomination papers for certification have until Tuesday.

City Clerk Kathleen E. Lesneski said there will be no city preliminary election. Just enough people, 13, have taken out nomination papers for six councilor-at-large seats to require a preliminary, but Ms. Lesneski said Clarke S. Sears has told her office he will not be returning his papers for certification.

In November, Mayor Gerald E. St. Hilaire will be challenged by Mark P. Hawke. Mr. Hawke is city grants administrator.

Races are expected for City Council in Wards 2 and 5, and possibly Ward 1.

In Ward 2, incumbent Councilor Charles J. Leblanc is being challenged by David T. Boudreau. Mr. Boudreau is a member of the School Committee, but chose to run for City Council rather than for re-election.

Incumbent James J. Robinson and Peter J. Sabettini have returned nomination papers for City Council in Ward 5. Mr. Robinson has been on deployment with the National Guard in Kosovo since November. Mr. Sabettini is a real estate agent and salesman for Travers Printing. He ran Sabettini Printing for 15 years until it closed in 2003. He also served on the Conservation Commission in the 1980s.

There could be a third race for ward councilor in November. City Council President Neil W. Janssens has returned his nomination papers for re-election to represent Ward 1. Paul N. Demeo has taken out, but not yet returned, nomination papers to challenge him.

Unopposed for re-election are Roger Jaillet in Ward 3 and James J. Minns in Ward 4.

In the race for councilor-at-large, incumbents Alice P. Anderson, Joshua L. Cormier, Ronald F. Cormier, Kim M. Dembrosky and Cleo E. Monette are running for re-election. Incumbent Scott Graves has taken out, but not yet returned his nomination papers.

Challengers include Henry P. Ares and Eugene Gemborys. Nowell Francis also has returned nomination papers for councilor-at-large, but Ms. Lesneski said they have not yet been certified by the registrars of voters.

Also, along with Mr. Sears and Mr. Graves, Erin M. Sandstrom, Wayne E. Stevens and Dennis J. Venuto have taken out, but not yet returned, nomination papers for councilor-at-large.

There could be a race from School Committee in the fall. Two of the three incumbents whose terms are expiring in November have indicated they will not seek re-election. Mr. Boudreau is running for City Council and David Curran has chosen not to run again. Incumbent John M. Lafreniere is seeking re-election. Also running for three slots on the School Committee are Paul G. Tassone and Art Mehtrens. A fourth candidate, Carol J. Bailey, has taken out, but not yet returned, her nomination papers.

NAME: GARDNER CITY COUNCIL; GARDNER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 11, 2007
Words:496
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