GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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January 15, 2013

Fleming won't seek Rockport re-election

ROCKPORT — With eight seats of town officials up for grabs in May, there may be some new names on the ballot and fresh faces during town meetings.

One seat is definitely set to remain open. Selectman Frances Fleming announced Monday she will not be seeking re-election for a three year term.

Fleming, who won election in 2010 as one of five write-in candidates after no one returned papers to seek a place on the ballot, said she has taken a new position that would make it extremely difficult to continue on the town’s board.

”I ran for this position because I was encouraged, persuaded, and supported by so many to do so, at a time when no one was willing to run,” she wrote in an email to the Times.

Fleming said she will be starting a new, four year position in January of 2014, the reason she is not seeking reelection.

“I have been asked to fill a role in a national spiritual organization that is very dear to my heart that will draw on my skills and my passion,” she wrote. “Therefore I am not in a position to stand for re-election.

“Although I had not thought of myself in the role of Selectmen before that time, I have worked hard to live up to the expectations of the voters,” she wrote. During a phone interview, she said she would miss the interactions with other residents and relationships with other department leaders and town employees.

She also commended Erin Battistelli, who currently chairs the Board of Selectmen, for her willingness to take on that role when Fleming was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year.

Town Clerk Patricia Brown said Monday that the only person who has requested election candidate paperwork is the current town assessor, Paul Fuhs, who is seeking the same post.

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