It’s official. The 2023 local election campaign in Bedford will be a quiet one – because there are no contested races on the March 11 Town Election ballot.
The town clerk’s office confirmed on Wednesday at 5 p.m. that no one has requested nominating petitions. That was the deadline for obtaining papers. The deadline for filing papers with 50 signatures of registered Bedford voters is Friday at 5 p.m. – but that’s academic now. (The option of a write-in campaign remains.)
Of course, that doesn’t mean the ballot is blank. Every office seeker was nominated at the Town Caucus eight days ago. The 60-minute caucus saved each candidate the time involved in securing signatures.
What a difference a year makes – in 2022 there were lively contests for five openings on three boards, complete with campaign “coffees” on Zoom and a plethora of lawn signs.
Although 2022 was the exception in campaign intensity, 2023 is a particular retrenchment. Despite the fact that two veteran officeholders are retiring – one on the Select Board and the other on the School Committee – there are no contests for those open seats. There’s one person running for each seat up for election this year.
Paul Mortenson, chair of the Finance Committee, will succeed Ed Pierce on the Select Board. School Committee member Ann Guay will be succeeded by Sarah McGinley, the current non-voting committee member representing Hanscom Air Force Base households.