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Campaign Notebook: Ward 2 contender Jason Foster ready for race

Foster, who has experience in local and international business endeavors, said he believes the city can benefit from new ideas for creating sustainable revenue while maintaining its identity as an inclusive cultural and academic community. In a message to voters on his website, Foster said his business background would benefit the city by providing solutions to increasing economic pressures. He also promises to advocate with a strong voice for Ward 2.

“It’s very clear to me that this town could use someone that has a strong business background,” Foster said in an interview earlier this summer.

The Round Hill Road resident is running against incumbent Paul D. Spector, who is running for a sixth consecutive term this fall.

Foster, 44, has lived in Northampton since 2003 and has been involved in several local and national business opportunities as an owner, investor and business adviser. In 2009, he purchased Northampton Karate on Riverside Drive, where he devotes several hours per week teaching children martial arts. He also is the founder and president of Cruising Chrome Cosmetics, which sells skin care products targeting the motorcycle market and is involved in several other local businesses.

Foster is also one of the owners of Off the Map Inc., which operates several tattoo shops, runs a website for the tattoo community called tattoonow.com and hosts annual tattoo conventions.

Foster was on Hampshire Regional YMCA’s board of directors from 2005 to 2011, serving as vice chairman and secretary for four of those years.

Prior to moving to Northampton, Foster co-founded and worked as managing director for five years at a market research company in China. The 100-employee company included offices in China and New York. In 1999, Foster moved to London to serve as senior vice president of an Internet start-up. He spent the following three years building operations in six countries and negotiating and structuring business deals throughout Europe.

Foster is originally from Southington, Conn., has been married for 16 years to his wife, Wendy, and has two children, Isaac, 12, and Henry, 8.

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Grinder fundraiser

Ward 6 City Council candidate Yvonne Keefe will hold a fundraiser Wednesday in which people can build their own grinders. She is seeking to unseat incumbent Marianne L. LaBarge. Also running for the seat is Michael Janik.

The event is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. at Look Park’s Dow Pavilion. A $10 donation is suggested. To RSVP by Sunday, call 582-6880.

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Ballots ready

Absentee ballots are available in the city clerk’s office for the Sept. 17 preliminary election for Ward 6, in which Marianne L. LaBarge, Michael Janik and Yvonne E. Keefe are candidates.

Voters in Ward 6 who are going to be absent from the city or during the hours the polls are open, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., may vote at the city clerk’s office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Voters may also apply for an absentee ballot if they are unable to go to the polls due to disability or religious belief. Upon receipt of a written request, a ballot will be mailed to the voter. The ballot may be returned by mail, or hand-delivered by the voter or a family member to the city clerk’s office, on or before Sept. 17.

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Sept. 16, at noon.

Candidates wishing to announce upcoming campaign events and other news can email Chad Cain at ccain@gazettenet.com.

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