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A first-time candidate for political office plans to challenge Andover Select Board member Laura Gregory in the March 28 town election.

Kevin Coffey, who started the Andover Governance discussion group on Facebook, withdrew nomination papers on Friday. Coffey’s decision to run comes just days before the Tuesday deadline for candidates to submit nomination papers to appear on the ballot.

Coffey is a managing director with Bajan Waters and has never run for elected office. In public comments on Andover Governance, Coffey has frequently been a critic of town spending and has urged town officials to show more fiscal restraint to lower taxes.

“Kudos to the Finance Committee for calling out the elephant climbing into the budget—the proposed new high school,” Coffey said in a Jan. 18 post in his Facebook group. “The Town should not take on another massive debt for a new high school now, when the building committee is plowing ahead even after failing to get support from the state and too soon on the heels of the massive debt obligations just taken on by the Town for the Pension Obligation Bond and the new West Elementary School, the full effects of which we have not yet even felt in property taxes.”

Gregory was first elected to the select board in 2017 and served as chair in 2019. She is a civil litigation attorney whose practice focuses on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.

“My knowledge as a practicing lawyer continues to be useful in providing context and strategy to the Board in decision-making and negotiations,” Gregory said in a statement last month. “I am seeking to continue my work on the Board to represent all of Andover’s residents and businesses, working to promote business growth, while maintaining Andover’s green space.” 

As previously reported, Keith Saxon plans to challenge Moderator Sheila Doherty in the March election. It will be the third time Saxon has challenged Doherty since 2018, not counting 2021, when he received seven write-in votes. Last year, he received 39.9 percent of the vote. His best finish was in 2018, when he received 41.9 percent of the vote.

School Committee member Lauren Conoscenti is also running for reelection. So far, she remains unopposed.

Key Dates For The 2023 Town Election

The town election is scheduled for March 28. The last day to register to vote in the 2023 Andover election is March 18, 2023. You can register to vote online or by visiting the Town Clerk’s office.

If you plan to run for office, you have until February 7 to submit nomination papers and until February 23 to withdraw. The election warrant is published and posted on March 14.

Candidates have to pick up nomination papers in-person from the Town Clerk. Candidates must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen, a registered voter and an Andover resident. Candidates will be required to file a statement with their name, address and the office they are seeking before they can receive nomination papers.

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