|By Michelle Kealey
AGAWAM Although nomination papers can be filed until August 23, many interested candidates have already taken out papers and two have returned them.
According to City Clerk Richard Theroux, two candidates have already returned their papers, which have been certified.
Mayor Richard Cohen, who is running for re-election for a fourth term as mayor, has returned his papers and City Council candidate Marc Katsoulis, has returned his as well, Theroux said.
Katsoulis ran for City Council last year, but was not elected.
As of June 29, two people have taken out papers for the position of mayor, ten took papers out for the City Council and 14 people are interested in a seat on the School Committee.
Theroux said that, although there is time before the deadline, many incumbents tend to take their papers out early because they "know the system."
"I think we will see more candidates for the Council and possibly for the School Committee," he said, adding that the contest for School Committee is "turning into quite a race."
Theroux explained that a preliminary election will be needed if the number of candidates is double the number of positions.
There are six seats on the School Committee and 11 seats on the City Council.
So far, five School Committee incumbents have taken out papers, which includes Rosemary Sandlin, Diane Juzba, Paul Cavallo, Roberta Doering and Linda Galarneau.
Former School Committee members Teresa Kozloski and Susan Dawson, who lost their seats in the last election, also took out papers.
Other possible School Committee candidates include Pamela Jones, John Cesan, Donald Charest, Michael Beaudry, Anthony Bonavita, Marie Mazza and Abbe McLane.
As of June 29, ten residents have taken out nomination papers for a seat on the City Council. Incumbent City Councilors Cecilia Calabrese, Robert Magovern, Ruth Carr Bitzas, Robert Rossi, Robert Young and Gina Letellier.
Other possible candidates so far include Marc Katsoulis and Owen Broadhurst, who both ran in the last election, along with John Cesan and Maryann Paleologopoulos.
In the race for mayor, Michael Elliott Thomas Davidson is the only potential candidate to challenge Cohen thus far.
All of the potential candidates need 100 certified signatures to run for office, according to Theroux.
Nomination papers are due on August 23 and the Board of Registrars will meet to certify signatures at 5 p.m. that evening.
The last day for candidates to file a withdrawal of or objection to all nomination papers for the preliminary election is September 8 by 5 p.m.
The preliminary elections, if needed, will take place on October 11 from 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
The city election will take place on November 8 from 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.