UPDATED: Races take shape for April election

Feb 15, 2022

April’s town election will feature a number of contested races, including a challenge to Select Board member John Haran by former Potter School Principal Heidi Brooks.

For School Committee, four candidates will run for two seats.

Incumbents John Nunes and Chris Oliver will try to defend their seats against challengers Lynne Turner and Adam Moreira.

The top two vote-getters in the town election will take the seats on the committee.

For the Planning Board, incumbent Stephen Taylor will seek a second term as he faces off against challenger Nicholas Psichopaidas. 

James Griffith, the current chair of the Dartmouth Democratic Town Committee, will run against resident Lisa Tufano to finish out the term of the late Suzanne McDonald on the Board of Library Trustees.

Suzanne McDonald, the sister of Select Board Chair Shawn McDonald, passed away in her home on Nov. 28, 2021. She was 62.

Incumbents Joan Menard and William Chandler will both run unopposed for their respective seats on the Board of Library Trustees.

Turner, a former elementary school teacher, said she’s running for School Committee because she wants to incorporate more parent perspectives into public meetings.

“I feel like Dartmouth, over this Covid time period, has shut out parents,” Turner said. “We need to have more diverse opinions on [the committee].”

She added that she’d also like to work on getting kids “back to a healthy and normal school life.”

Haran, who was first elected to the Select Board in 2016, is seeking a third term on the board. He said his reason for running is simple: “Helping the people in our community is part of who I am.”

The commercial fishing industry representative is also a member of Dartmouth Fire District No. 1's Prudential Committee and the Dartmouth Republican Committee.

He also served on the Planning Board from 2005 to 2012 and the Finance Committee from 2012 to 2016.

If re-elected, Haran said he hopes to find solutions to help residents overcome economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s important moving forward to control costs and ask the questions that no one else does, look for alternative options, long term impacts and always question where we will get the money,” he said.

Along with working at Potter School, Brooks also served on the Library Building Committee and helped oversee the construction and repairs of the new North Dartmouth Library branch.

Brooks said her reason for running was to “instill Dartmouth pride” by using the board to encourage more residents to get involved in town government

“There’s an apathy about being involved and that needs to change,” she said.

Brooks added that she also hopes to provide a “female voice to the committee” as the five-member board is currently composed of all men.

Shawn McDonald, the current chair of the Select Board, will run unopposed for his seat. 

In other uncontested races, Kevin Santos is running for Assessor, Parks and Recreation Board members James Vieira and Joseph Vieira will both campaign for their respective seats, and Melissa Haskell is running for re-election to Town Moderator.

Michelle Keith will run for the open seat on the Board of Health which will be vacated by Lynne Brodeur.

Each precinct will also vote on Town Meeting members, along with a non-binding referendum on whether to keep the controversial Dartmouth High Indian logo.

Town Election is April 5. The deadline to register to vote is March 18.

This story was update to include statements from town election candidates.