Ward 3 School Committee representative Chris O'Neil will have at least one challenger in his attempt to win a second term. Mayhew Road resident Jessica Bessell pulled papers Tuesday, and she told Attleboro Patch she was "100 percent committed" to running.
Bessell is a mother of two young boys, including one who is in kindergarten at Willett Elementary School. The other child will attend kindergarten at Willett next year.
"I have a personal interest in the school committee, my children," wrote Bessell in an email to Patch. "I have formed great relationships with parents, teachers and, most of all, the children through volunteering, PTO and being involved in the community. With this background, I want to run for the Ward 3 seat to represent everybody's best interests. I know I would be a great candidate for the position as I am dedicated to our schools."
In an email to Patch, O'Neil congratulated Bessell on her decision to run.
"Her willingness to serve is commendable and she has my gratitude," he wrote. "Every citizen in our community has a stake in our school system. I remain fully committed to Attleboro Schools and continuing to objectively represent the residents of Ward 3 on our school committee."
He continued, "We have accomplished a great deal in this term with more to come. The next term will also present serious challenges, including negotiation with our unions, which I hope to complete professionally and successfully. I look forward to a clean and robust discussion about our school system in the coming months."
O'Neil defeated three-term incumbent Bob Hill in the 2011 election. He has one son.
Editor's Note: Jessica Bessell is a former Attleboro Patch writer.