Town Caucus to convene to field nominees for six elected positions 

January 13, 2024

While the eyes of presidential election watchers have been fixed on caucuses and primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in recent weeks, Concord civics aficionados will find the real action right at the Town House on January 29.  

That Monday, voters, candidates and their supporters come together for the Town Caucus, a process by which hopefuls can throw their hats into the ring for election to the Select Board, School Committee, Housing Authority, and the office of Town Moderator. 

“It’s an event that I always find uplifting, because you get to see some people get nominated — or renominated — and affirm their commitment to participate in town affairs here in Concord, which makes us a very special community,” said Mike Lawson, a former Select Board chair who’s served as chair of the caucus for the past several cycles (and hopes to do so again this year).  

On the Select Board, the spots currently held by current Chair Henry Dane and member Linda Escobedo are open. Dane previously submitted a letter to The Concord Bridge declaring his intent to run for re-election for another three-year term. Escobedo has told The Bridge she does not intend to seek another term.  

All Select Board seats are at large; members do not represent specific districts or neighborhood wards. 

Wendy Rovelli, a former two-term member of the Finance Committee and the Concord Municipal Light Board, said in a letter to The Bridge she’s running for Select Board, as has Joe Laurin, a data science company CEO and a trustee of the Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle, and health care and energy businessperson Cameron McKennitt. 

School Committee Chair Tracey Marano, whose term expires this year, declared her intent to seek re-election to another three-year stint in a letter to The Bridge earlier this month. School Committee member Court Booth’s term also expires this year.  

Andrew Herchek, a Willard parent who himself attended Concord schools, has said in a letter that he’s running, as has Liz Cobbs, co-chair of the town’s Personnel Board. 

Edward Tar Larner wrote to The Bridge that he’s running for a third term on the Housing Authority; those officials serve for five years. 

Reiss, who has served as moderator since 2016, also said in the Bridge letters section that she’s seeking re-election. The moderator runs Town Meeting and serves a one-year term. 

The caucus, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, “is an opportunity [for] people to gather and actually see and meet the folks who are running for office,” said Diane Proctor of the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, “and to hear the endorsements from people who are in fact standing beside them in one way or another… It is the kickoff of the political season.” 

Lawson said the process is traditionally straightforward: Caucus participants, who must be registered Concord voters as of the start of the proceedings, choose a chair and a clerk. Then come the nominations.  

“If people want to nominate someone, they stand up and come forward and make a little nominating speech,” Lawson explained. “If there are no more people nominated than there are positions available, then on behalf of the caucus, I have the ability to declare them the nominees. But if there are more than the number of candidates for a particular office, then we vote.”  

Candidates don’t have to be present at the caucus to be nominated, he said: “There’s a number of people at the caucus, so it would give you a chance to be seen, but there’s no speeches by the candidates at the caucus.” 

Officeseekers also don’t have to go through the caucus process to get on the ballot: They can collect the signatures of at least 50 registered Concord voters and file them with the Town Clerk by February 20. Concord candidates are also required to make periodic campaign finance disclosures

Candidates can pick up nomination papers for local office in person at the Town Clerk’s office on the first floor of the Town House at 22 Monument Square. Everyone nominated at the caucus or by petition will receive campaign finance forms and a calendar with filing deadlines, Town Clerk Kaari Mai Tari said. 

Tari also noted that “Vote by Mail postcards applications have been sent by the State’s Elections Division to all voters. While the town election isn’t specifically noted, voters selecting all elections will receive a local election ballot.” More vote by mail options are available via 

The town election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9. The voter registration deadline is Friday, March 29. 

How many people will show up at the caucus — or ultimately decide to run — is, of course, not clear yet.  

Caucus attendance “depends on the weather. It depends on whether this is a controversial year … It depends on so many things,” Proctor said. “Surprisingly — and I say ‘surprisingly’ only because I care about these things — there are not necessarily a lot of people who attend. Fifty people would be a big turnout.” 

Both Proctor and Lawson said in keeping with its name, Concord tends to handle the nomination and election process with courtesy.  

“When one is open to the slings and arrows of strong opinions that then become kind of a public pillorying, there can be a tendency not to wish to run, but by and large, Concord tends to handle its disputation civilly,” Proctor said. “I think that’s not unimportant, because that means running for office is not, in essence, a dangerous thing to do.”   

All in all, the caucus itself is “very, very Concordian,” Lawson said.  

“It’s an important event and annual set of activities, [so] I think if people have never seen a caucus before, they should come out or watch it on Zoom. It’s a very pleasant and affirming event for the town.”