Races need candidates in Northampton
NORTHAMPTON — Multiple City Council races are shaping up for this fall’s municipal election, as political newcomers have taken out nomination papers in wards 2, 3, 6 and 7.
The same can’t be said for the School Committee, which so far is seeing a dearth of candidates for six seats on the ballot this fall.
Here’s how the council races shape up should all of the residents who have taken out papers return them by the deadline later this summer.
In Ward 2, incumbent Paul D. Spector would face a challenge from Jason T. Foster; Ward 6 would see a race between incumbent Marianne L. LaBarge and Michael Janik; and Ward 7 incumbents Eugene A. Tacy would square off against Alisa Klein.
In Ward 3 so far two residents have taken steps to run for seat being vacated by Owen Freeman-Daniels, who has said he won’t run again this fall. They include Ryan O’Donnell and Samuel Taylor.
Others seeking office this fall who currently face no challengers include incumbents William H. Dwight and Jesse M. Adams for two at-large positions, Maureen T. Carney in Ward 1 and David A. Murphy in Ward 5.
In Ward 4, Gina-Louise Sciarra is running unopposed to fill a position being vacated by Pamela C. Schwartz, who has announced she won’t run for another term.
Meantime, no one has taken out papers for open positions in wards 1 and 7 on the School Committee. Those positions are currently held by Alden Bourne and Downey Meyer, respectively.
Two other wards up for re-election have one candidate each. In Ward 3, incumbent Howard Moore will run again, and in Ward 5, Ann Hennessey is the lone resident to take out papers to fill a position currently held by Stephanie Pick, who has announced she will not seek another term.
There may be a race brewing for two at-large positions on the School Committee. In addition to incumbent Blue Duval, two other residents have taken out papers. They include Janik and Kari Nykorchuk. Another incumbent, Michael Flynn, has said he won’t seek re-election.
Three even numbered seats on the School Committee are not up for re-election this fall because they are in the middle of four-year terms. The city is moving to comply with a new charter that calls for all terms to run concurrently and last for two years.
Candidates have until July 22 to return papers to the Registrar of Voters and Aug. 5 to the City Clerk’s office. If needed, a preliminary election will be held Sept. 17, with the municipal election Nov. 5. A preliminary election is triggered when three candidates run for mayor or the same ward councilor position, or if five or more candidates seek at-large positions.
Sciarra to launch campaign
Ward 4 City Council candidate Gina-Louise Sciarra will officially launch her campaign Thursday with a free kickoff party.
The free event is scheduled for The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St., from 5 to 7 p.m.
In addition to Sciarra, City Council President William H. Dwight and current Ward 4 councilor Pamela C. Schwartz are expected to speak.
Sciarra said she hopes to run an inclusive campaign that celebrates Ward 4 as the cultural and commercial heart of the city and to begin talking with voters about challenges the ward and city faces and what makes it great.
Sciarra faces no challengers, as Schwartz said she would not run for re-election this fall.
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Election-related news and announcements to run in a periodic “Campaign Notebook” column can be sent to staff writer Chad Cain at email@example.com.