Tuesday is the day of Haverhill’s special election, but interest is also building for this fall’s first ward-based city elections.
As it stands now, only four of seven ward council seats are contested. Devan Ferreira, known for her activism around education and agriculture, ensured there would be at least one candidate for every ward by taking out nomination papers recently to run for Ward 3 councilor.
Ferreira lobbied unsuccessfully in 2017 to keep the charter of the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School, but helped convince the City Council in 2019 to form a Haverhill Agricultural Commission.
Of sitting city councilors, only incumbent Joseph J. Bevilacqua has yet to take nomination papers from the Haverhill city clerk’s office. Incumbents Council President Timothy J. Jordan and Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan have taken out nomination papers for at-large offices and Council Vice President John A Michitson has announced plans to seek an at-large seat, but had not yet taken nomination papers at the time of this report. Former Council candidate Fred A. Simmons also plans to seek an at large seat.
Other City Council candidates by Ward are newcomer Alexander Veras, Ward 1; Carmen Garcia-King and Katrina Hobbs-Everett, Ward 2; incumbent Melissa J. Lewandowski and former City Councilor Kenneth E. Quimby, Ward 4; incumbent Shaun P. Toohey and Michael Morales, Ward 5; incumbent Michael S. McGonagle and newcomer Oliver Aguilo, Ward 6; and incumbent Catherine P. Rogers, Ward 7.
On the School Committee side, Thomas Grannemann, who first sought election to the body in 2019, took out nomination papers for Ward 7. There are still no announced School Committee candidates for Wards 1, 3 and 4. Others seeking election by Ward are Incumbent School Committee member Tony Sapienza-Donais, Ward 2; Lynette Hickey and Jill Story, Ward 5; and Yonnie Collins, Ward 6.
There are no at-large vacancies on the School Committee this time around as those elected to four-year terms in 2021— Paul A. Magliocchetti, Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello and Richard J. Rosa—are permitted to complete their terms of office.
Candidates taking out nomination papers to succeed Mayor James J. Fiorentini are City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, incumbent School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr., George Eleftheriou and former mayoral candidate Debra Campanile.
For a running list of candidates, updated regularly, visit the Election Central section of WHAV.net. Others have until Friday, July 21 to take out papers. Candidates for city office have until Tuesday, July 25, to return nomination papers to the city’s Board of Registrars of Voters.
In any race where there are more than twice the number of candidates to be elected, there will be a preliminary election Tuesday, Sept. 12, to narrow the fields. The final city election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
In other Election Central news, Michitson plans a campaign kickoff and fundraiser Thursday, June 8, from 5-7 p.m., at Azul’s Mexican Restaurant, 316 Groveland St., Haverhill.