Mayoral races taking shape in Northampton, Holyoke

  • Northampton City Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • Holyoke City Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2021 3:57:49 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Mayoral races across the state are heating up, including in Northampton and Holyoke.

Candidates in both cities have begun to file their nomination papers — the step necessary to appear on the ballot. In Northampton, candidates for mayor must collect the signatures of 150 residents on their nomination papers. In Holyoke, that number is 250 signatures.

Nomination papers for elected office are not available in Easthampton until July 1 where voters also will vote for mayor later this year. The mayoral terms are for four years in all three cities.

A preliminary election is now a certainty in Holyoke, where three candidates have already submitted nomination papers: at-large city councilors Michael Sullivan and Rebecca Lisi, and the academic and educator Gloria Caballero-Roca, according to the city clerk’s website.

Four other candidates who have pulled nomination papers for mayor: School Committee member Devin Sheehan, former Morse aide William Glidden, Blandford Town Administrator Joshua Garcia and resident Christopher Kosinksi.

The Holyoke candidates are vying to replace acting mayor Terence Murphy, the Ward 2 city councilor whose peers elected him to occupy the corner office in City Hall until November. He replaced former mayor Alex Morse, who left the position in March to take a job as the town manager in Provincetown.

In Northampton, two candidates have turned in their nomination papers: At-Large Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra and social worker Shanna Talli Fishel, according to City Clerk Pamela Powers.

Northampton also is likely to see a runoff race, as three other candidates have pulled nomination papers: Rosechana Gordon, Jared Greenberg and Roy Martin. Current Mayor David Narkewicz, who was first elected to the position in 2011, is not seeking reelection.

In addition to mayoral races, each city will also have contested city council races on the ballot later this year.

In Holyoke, multiple candidates have pulled nomination papers in every ward except Ward 2, where Will Puello is the only resident to pull papers thus far, according to the city clerk’s website.

Twelve candidates have taken out nomination papers to run for the council’s six at-large seats, six of whom have submitted signatures already: incumbents Peter Tallman and Howard Greaney, as well as Jennifer Keitt, Mark Chatel, Jose Luis Maldonado Velez and Kevin Jourdain.

In Northampton, the two at-large councilors — Sciarra and Bill Dwight — are not running for reelection to those seats. Thus far, five candidates have taken out nomination papers to run for the at-large positions: Michael Quinlan, Marissa Elkins, David Murphy, Jamila Gore and Michelle Serra. Quinlan and Gore have both submitted signatures.

So far, in the seven wards in Northampton, only one candidate has pulled papers in each ward.

The last day to submit nomination papers is July 27 in Holyoke, Aug. 13 in Northampton and Sept. 14 in Easthampton. Preliminary elections, if needed, will take place on Sept. 21 in Holyoke and Sept. 28 in Northampton.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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