Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee elections became available on Monday morning, and by Tuesday, there had already been a wealth of activity.
First and foremost was current At-large Councillor Mike Mangan (Walnut Street) pulling papers for Ward 4 rather than for at-large. Mangan had finished just out of the money in the general election last time around, but after current State Rep. Joe McGonagle stepped up to the State House this year, Mangan stepped up to fill the seat.
Now, however, it appears he will run for Ward 4.
Though current Ward 4 Councillor John Leo McKinnon (Newton Street) had not pulled papers by Tuesday, observers believed he planned to run for re-election.
That would pit two political veterans, and current incumbents, facing off against one another.
It also leaves an at-large seat up for grabs, and a healthy field has already emerged for the five at-large seats.
By Tuesday, incumbents Richard Dell Isola Jr. (Griswold Street), John Hanlon (Main Street) and Cynthia Sarnie (Main Street) had pulled papers for re-election. Fellow incumbent Peter Napolitano (Cottage Street) is expected to also pull papers for re-election.
Still, though, that leaves one at-large seat without an incumbent.
Making a strong challenge will be first-timer Dan Skeritt (Bolster Street), who has pulled papers for at-large.
Another political force to be reckoned with so far in the at-large race is Joe Marchese (Elsie Street), who finished behind Mangan in the last election.
Others to pull papers in the at-large race were veteran political insider Catherine Tomassi-Hicks (Oakes Street), Kay Giannelli (Bow Street) and Joe Santagate (Swan Street).
Others are likely to emerge as well in what will be a spirited and competitive campaign.
In the wards, Ward 2 looks like it will be another battleground.
Incumbent Ward 2 Councillor Stephen Simonelli (Fremont Avenue) has not yet pulled papers, and it wasn’t certain if he had plans to. A first-term councillor, his plans are not certain at this point.
That said, former politician Jason Marcus (Dartmouth Street) has pulled papers, and Haley LaMonica (Lawrence Street) has also pulled papers. LaMonica is a relative of School Committeeman Joe LaMonica.
In Ward 3, incumbent Mike Marchese (Elsie Street) is expected to pull papers for re-election, and he will square off with Anthony DiPierro (Sycamore Street), a young man who has pulled papers and is ready to take on the incumbent.
In Ward 6, incumbent Sal Sachetta (Woodville Street) has pulled papers for another run, and he will face former councillor Michael McLaughlin (Baldwin Place). That will be a re-match from two years ago when the new form of government was ushered in and the two men faced off in a close contest.
In Ward 5, so far only incumbent Rose DiFlorio (Dyer Avenue) has pulled papers. Likewise, in Ward 1, only incumbent Council President Fred Capone (Broadway) has pulled papers.
With School Committee, so far there has been one surprise.
Newcomer Michael Dantone (Broadway) has pulled papers for an at-large run.
By Tuesday, at-large incumbents Bernie D’Onofrio (Evelyn Road) and Richard Baniewicz (Alpine Road) had pulled papers.
There were no defined races in the wards as of yet. Incumbents Ward 1 Alan Panarese (Wolcott Steet), Ward 2 Joe LaMonica (Lawrence Street), Ward 3 Frank Parker (Freeman Avenue), Ward 4 David Ela (Henry Street) had pulled papers.
Ward 5 and Ward 6 had no action by Tuesday, but incumbents Robert Carriero and Thomas Abruzzese were expected to pull papers.
Clerk Michael Mattarazzo noted that the City did move back the first day for papers from early April to early May – to shorten the time to gather signatures. Candidates, he said, have until July to return completed papers in order to get on the ballot.
Candidates are required to gather 250 signatures of registered voters on their nomination papers in order to be complete.