By Josh Resnek
The rush to pull nomination papers has continued.
As of this week, a total of 59 candidates, incumbents as well as former candidates and first timers have indicated they are running for a variety of positions on the city council and the school committee.
However, very few, by comparison, so far, have had their signatures certified as time begins to run out on that part of the process.
Signatures must be received by July 19 in the city hall election office in order to be officially certified for the upcoming September primary.
As of Tuesday, out of 16 councilor at large hopefuls who pulled nomination papers, only six have been certified. Only 11 candidates out of a total 16 ward councilor candidates have been certified.
On the school committee side, a total of 27 candidates who have taken out nomination papers for at-large and ward contests, only eight have been certified.
One of those includes a withdrawal by candidate Charles Leo who was facing School Committeeman Marcony Almeida Barros.
Mr. Barros’ signatures have been certified.
He is now running unopposed.
No one on the city council side is running unopposed School Committee incumbent candidate Jeannie Cristiano is running unopposed in Ward 3.
Her signatures have been certified.
It is expected that during the next week, candidates will rush to gather their signatures for certification by the election office. The largest number of political incumbents and hopeful candidates is a block of 16 in the city council at large race.
Out of that number, six have been certified.
This includes, so far, Katy Rogers, John Hanlon, Mike Marchese, Kisan Upadhaya, Guerline Alcy and Stephanie Smith. Hanlon, Marchese and Smith are all incumbents with significant followings throughout the city.
In the school committee at large race School Committeeman Mike McLaughlin’s announcement that he will not be running changes the political dynamic as well as the potential for victory for several of the at-large candidates.