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Last-minute write-in for Hawley selectman

HAWLEY— A write-in candidate has stepped forward to challenge Selectmen’s Chairman Phillip Keenan’s re-election bid in today’s annual town election.

Hussain Hamdan, a recent selectman candidate in this spring’s special election, is again stepping into the ring, for the three-year term held by Keenan.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Town Office for both the state primary and the annual election.

Hussain, who lost the election to John Sears, resigned his Hawlemont School Committee position on the night of the special election, saying he was “disillusioned” by the mud-slinging and animosity aroused during the campaign.

In an email announcing his second run for selectman, Hamdan said he believes Keenan “is only representing one faction in our town in the face of serious disagreements. I do not feel he is doing a constructive job of representing everyone.”

Keenan, an 18-year board member, and former Selectman Tedd White were at impasse over several issues, including how to address the over-zealous emergency repairs that were made to the Chickley River after Tropical Storm Irene. That issue has not only been divisive for town boards but for townspeople as well.

Another announced write-in candidate on the town ballot is Kirby “Lark” Thwing, the incumbent town auditor. He is seeking re-election to a one-year term as auditor and is also running for the one-year term of town moderator, in view of former moderator Cynthia Stetson’s resignation.

Candidates whose names will appear on the ballot are: Keenan, for a three-year selectmen’s seat; Assessor Jason A. Velazquez; Hawlemont Local Education Committee member Suzanne S. Crawford and Richard Gould, who is seeking a one-year term as tree warden.

Hawley will be holding a second special election later this summer to elect a new selectman and town clerk. These candidates will fill vacancies left by the sudden resignations of former Selectman White and former Town Clerk Lisa Turner.

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