DRACUT -- One week after picking up nomination papers at Town Hall to run for selectman, School Committee Chairman Michael McNamara has withdrawn from the race, he announced.

In a prepared statement, McNamara wrote that "after much thought and much time in consultation with family and valued friends and supporters, I have made a decision to fulfill my elected commitment as a member of the Dracut School Committee until May of 2016."

Last week, McNamara said that if elected to the Board of Selectmen, he planned to step down from the School Committee to make the transition, despite having two years remaining in his term.

After a week of reflection and receiving feedback from the community, he reconsidered.

"I love serving the Dracut public schools and its students. These students, who do not vote in elections, are truly my constituency," McNamara wrote. "Being a continuing part of seeing the new Dracut High School built to final completion and continuing to support our long-term Superintendent of Schools Steven Stone are extremely important to me, personally and professionally."

McNamara added that though many of his supporters "may be disappointed in my decision to withdraw, other of my supporters will be pleased that, by withdrawing for a run for selectman, I would be able to continue to serve the Dracut school community in a more direct way.

"I have heard from both schools of thought and given quite serious consideration to both.



McNamara's withdrawal, and Selectman John Zimini's announcement last week that he will not seek a fourth term, leaves at least three candidates who have pulled nomination papers to run for one of two seats on the board, including: Incumbent Selectman Bob Cox, seeking a fourth term; home-improvement contractor Ted Kosiavelon, making his third run for selectman; and family-law attorney Tami Dristiliaris, who finished fourth in last year's five-way race for the board.

The fling deadline for candidates to submit papers to run for office in the May election is March 17.

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