The first day of filing has come and gone in the Queen City and already races are taking shape. Not surprisingly, the contenders in the mayor’s race all filed. Incumbent Ted Gatsas will seek a fourth term, which, if achieved, will place Gatsas in the company of a mere handful of mayors who’ve held the office over the city’s history.
After filing for mayor, Ward 1 Alderman Joyce Craig issued a statement saying Gatsas was responsible for stalled economic growth, worsening schools, the escalating drug epidemic, and deteriorating roads among other failings.
Last year’s mayoral runner up, former Ward 12 Alderman Patrick Arnold, re-upped for another mayoral run and grocery store owner Jawed “Alibaba” Shaikh also filed his candidacy for mayor.
Incumbent Alderman at-Large Dan O’Neil and Ward 6 Alderman Garth Corriveau filed to run at-Large. School Board at-Large incumbent Kathy Staub has filed for reelection.
Welfare Commissioner Paul RR Martineau is seeking reelection, despite supporting an amendment to the charter that would eliminate the position as one chosen by the voters and establish it as one appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the aldermen. Martineau believes the position has become so complex, it requires someone with professional credentials and he believes appointing someone, rather than electing someone, will ensure a professional holds the job.
Assuming nobody drops out, there will be a primary for alderman in Ward 1. Zoning Board of Adjustment Chairman Bill Bevelaqua filed his candidacy as did Richard Higgins and Andre Rosa. Ward 1 School Board incumbent Sarah Ambrogi filed for reelection.
In Ward 2, incumbent Ron Ludwig will face a challenge from former Ward 11 School Board member Jason Cooper. Ludwig has said he will run for reelection, but has yet to file. Incumbent school board member Debra Gagnon Langton has filed for reelection.
Ward 3 Alderman Patrick Long is running for reelection and appointed incumbent Theodore Groh, who has yet to receive final confirmation of his appointment from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen filed for the school board.
Nick Pappas, who finished third in the balloting for Charter Commission in 2012, filed for alderman in Ward 6 and Bill Hughen, who lost in the primary two years ago, filed for school board.
Incumbent Ward 7 school board member Ross Terrio will run again, as will school board members Erika Connors in Ward 8, Arthur Beaudry in Ward 9, John Avard in Ward 10 and Katie Desrosiers in Ward 11.
Ward 8 Alderman Tom Katsiantonis filed for reelection. He will face a challenge from Ed Sapienza, brother of Ward 5 Alderman Tony Sapienza, in the general election, unless another candidate files to create a primary.
In Ward 10, Alderman Bill Barry filed for reelection. He will face at least three challengers in the primary, including new comers Michael Jedidiah Tocci and Alexandria Knox, a 29 year old, blind woman. (Click here for our recent interview with her.) Highway Commissioner Raymond Hebert, who has twice run for the seat, has also filed.
In Ward 12, incumbent Alderman Keith Hirschmann filed and will face primary challenge from former City Clerk Leo Bernier, who ran for school board in Ward 10 two years ago and Joel Elber who ran for school board in Ward 12 in the last election cycle. Elber’s filing was a surprise given he’d more than hinted he was going to run for school board again.
The filing period closes on Friday July 24 at 5 PM. Candidates must register at City Hall in person. Click here for all you need to know about the requirements to file and campaign in the coming election.
Click here for the complete list of all candidates who’ve filed.