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Preliminary election needed for Council races

By Michelle Kealey

Staff Writer

WESTFIELD When nomination papers were certified after the Aug. 9 deadline at 5 p.m., it was determined that a preliminary election will be needed for Wards 4, 5 and 6 of the City Council.

The preliminary election is scheduled for Sept. 27 from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The current Ward 4 City Councilor, Barbara Swords has decided to run for an at-large position and three newcomers are vying for the seat she is leaving behind.

The three candidates looking for fill the Ward 4 seat are Michael Burns, Mary O'Connell and Glenn Fuller.

Martin Canty, the current Ward 5 councilor, is not running for re-election and three residents are looking to fill that seat.

The Ward 5 hopefuls are Edward Ziskowski, Theodore Perez and Richard Onofrey, Jr.

In Ward 6, incumbent James Laverty will be facing three challengers in the preliminary election. His challengers include Joseph Spagnoli, Jason Russell and Matthew Roman.

In Ward 1, incumbent Charles Medieros faces one challenger for his seat. He will be running against James Pateat in the November election.

Incumbent Ward 2 Councilor Daniel Knapik is running unopposed as is incumbent Ward 3 Councilor Peter Miller.

Ten candidates are hoping to fill the seven at-large positions on the City Council.

Current At-Large Councilor Christopher Crean is not running for re-election, however the remaining six at-large incumbents are looking to be re-elected.

The incumbents include Brent Bean II, James Adams, Lynn Boscher, David Bannish, Brian Sullivan and Mark Noonan.

The six incumbents will be joined in the race by Barbara Swords, the current Ward 4 Councilor and hopefuls Joseph Wynn, John Liptak and Christopher Keefe.

City councilors serve for a two-year term.

No residents have challenged Mayor Richard Sullivan, and unless a resident campaigns as a write-in candidate, he will run unopposed. If elected, Sullivan will enter his seventh term as the city's mayor. Westfield's mayor serves a two-year term.

Although there are six seats on the School Committee, only four candidates will be on the ballot.

Incumbents Sharon Merlo-Gosselin, Robert Kapinos and Heather Sullivan will be joined in the race by resident John Sullivan IV.

The seventh position on the Committee is filled by the mayor, who serves as chair.

Four of the members of the G and E Commission are running unopposed for their positions.

The candidates include incumbents Kevin Kelleher (Ward 1), William Buzzee (Ward 3), Francis Liptak (Ward 4) and Thomas Flaherty, Sr. (Ward 5).

Ward 2 G and E Commission incumbent John Palczynski will be challenged by Robert Paul, Sr.

Robert Sacco, incumbent Ward 6 member of the G and E Commission, is facing challenger John "Jocko" Sharon.

Members of the G and E Commission serve a two-year term.

Alberta Humason is the only candidate running for Athenaeum Trustee, which is a six-year term position.

Any candidate has until Aug. 25 at 5 p.m. to officially withdraw from the race through the City Clerk's Office. The drawing for the ballot positions will take place on Aug. 29.

Unregistered voters have until Sept. 7 to register in order to be eligible to vote in the Sept. 27 preliminary election.

The Clerk's Office will be open from 9 a.m - 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 for residents to register.

Voters who wish to vote in the Nov. 8 general election must register by Oct. 19. The Clerk's Office will be open from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Oct. 19.

The city's general election will take place on Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Editor's Note: Any candidate who would like to submit a political statement can do so by emailing it to mkealey@reminderpublications. com. or by faxing it to (413) 592-5286. Reminder Publications will do its best to publish it as space is available.