Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Only contested townwide election on Amherst ballot disappears

Barry O’Connell, one of three residents who filed papers to run for School Committee in the April 9 election, has withdrawn.

O’Connell submitted a formal withdrawal letter to the town clerk Feb. 21, just two days after getting his nomination forms in by the filing deadline.

His decision leaves the ballot with two residents running for two three-year terms: incumbent Richard Hood of 28 Farmington Road and Kathleen Traphagen of 496 South East St. There are no contested elections for any other position on the ballot.

O’Connell, a professor of English at Amherst College, said his decision was motivated by two factors: entering the campaign too late and that his would-be challengers had already gathered commitments from those he would have liked to support his candidacy.

“I wish I hadn’t had to, but it was a reality I had to face up to,” O’Connell said.

— SCOTT MERZBACH

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