It looks like this fall will see some interesting races for City Council.
Last week was the deadline for submitting nomination papers to the Elections Commission, and all 13 incumbent councilors did. (So did all six School Committee members whose seats are up this year.)
Four challengers (two shy of the number needed to force a September preliminary) are running for the Council’s five at-large seats: Ernesto Cruz, Justin Hurst, Jeffrey Donnelly and Joshua Carpenter.
Meanwhile, a couple of people who’d been considered potential candidates for ward seats did not, in the end, submit papers: former Council President Jose Tosado, who earlier this year told me he was considering a run; and former Councilor Amaad Rivera, who some gadflies, at least, thought might make another run.
The race for the Council’s ward seats—which have, generally, seen a disappointing lack of competition—will see some heat, too. In Ward 1, incumbent Zaida Luna will face some strong competition from Jose Claudio, a long-time North End community and political activist; Mike Rivas, another North End resident whom I know best as an employee of the city’s Community Development office during the Albano administration; and Stephen Daly, a downtown resident and computer specialist in the city schools who’s active in neighborhood issues. The four will meet in a September preliminary, with the top two vote-getters going on to November’s general election.
In Ward 5, incumbent Clodo Concepcion also will face a preliminary, against challengers Kyle Burns (whose website talks about his union background and his independence from special interests) and Michael Belanger (whose campaign doesn’t appear to have any web presence, at least not yet, and about whom I know nada).
In other neighborhoods, Ward 8’s John Lysak faces, for the third time, a challenge from Orlando Ramos, who has a strong union background and works for state Sen. James Welch, while Ward 3’s Mel Edwards faces another promising challenger, Sal Circosta, who’s turned his South End bakery into a gathering place for interesting civic discussions.
Four ward councilors will run unopposed: Ward 2’s Mike Fenton, Ward 4’s Henry Twiggs, Ward 6’s Ken Shea and Ward 7’s Tim Allen. While I, as a rule, hate to see any politician re-elected without competition, I’m not losing too much sleep over this one, as I consider those four to be generally high-quality councilors.