As other news providers have begun giving this topic some attention, I thought I would jump in and give my awesome readers a chance to express their thoughts on what the Somerville political landscape will look like in November. Most of you participated in my two previous versions of this post touching on the Somerville scene and the Massachusetts scene, respectively. This time around is no different! Please know that you can go beyond Ward 5 if you wish.
So, what do you think? Who is running? Who should run? Why? What do you think their chances are?
Comment your answers to the following questions below!
Who is running?
What are they running for?
Why do you think they are running?
You can also include:
What are their chances? Challenges? Strengths? Weaknesses?
Here is what we know so far...Ward 1 Alderman: Elio Lorusso has been making the media rounds with heartwarming comments after the Mayor's State of City address on January 7th along with strong points after the latest Holiday Inn fiasco. Is he gearing up to give Maureen Cuff-Bastardi a run? Before we even get in to that...is Maureen even going to run?
Update: Not only are Elio and Maureen in the race, but Matt McLaughlin (Save Our Somerville) was announced as a cadidate at Mark Niedergang's March fundraiser.
Ward 1 School Committee: This depends on who is chosen to fill Maureen Cuff-Bastardi's seat. No word on who is considering at this point.
Update: Finalists were dwindled down to one candidate. Weeks later, he would resign due to health issues. Stephen Roix, the original suggestion by Bastardi, was sworn in to represent Ward 1 after months of not having a rep at the horseshoe.
Ward 2 Alderman: Looks like Maryanne Heuston may run with no opposition again as no one has sparked any speculation in Ward 2.
Ward 2 School Committee: Ward 2 has been represented, for years, by Teresa Cardoso and they seem to be happy with her.
Ward 3 Alderman: Tom Taylor's previous opponent didn't run much of a campaign, but that doesn't mean the former Board President is out of the woods. Word in that ward is that someone is seriously considering.
Update: Lee Palmer has been rumored to be considering a run. One thing is for sure, however, Adam Sweeting is staying in his seat on the School Committee.
Word 3 School Committee: A previous pull of papers hinted at a race in 2011, but Adam Sweeting would end up running unopposed. Could this be the case again?
Ward 4 Alderman: News that PDSer Marty Martinez is a homeowner in Ward 4, obviously, sparks speculation that he may run. No word on whether Christine Barber will take another shot at it.
Ward 4 School Committee: As Vice-Chair, Christine Rafal seems content in her position on the School Committee, so no one foresees her moving up or on at this time. No word on whether anyone will challenge her in 2013.
Ward 5 Alderman: In the only definite race for this election season, School Committeeman Mark Niedergang is putting together a brilliant team of former candidates and Ward 5 minds to assist him as he aims to unseat incumbant Sean O'Donovan. Mark hit the ground running with a summertime announcement and fall fundraiser. At this point, no action in the O'Donovan camp, but that will change soon as he is beginning to put together his team.
Update: Rumors still spreading that a third candidate is considering, however, as nomination paper time draws closer the cold feet get colder. What's definite is that it will be Sean vs. Mark.
Ward 5 School Committee: With Mark running for Alderman, this seat is up for the taking. So far, two have expressed interest with one stating that it's a "serious consideration."
Update: The candidate pool is up to three people as Caroline Shea Rosas, Laura Pitone, and Ross Richmond have all officially declared. One is still considering, but has yet to make a decision.
Ward 6 Alderman: Rebekah Gewirtz ran unopposed two years ago and no one has verbalized an interest at this point. Could this be a repeat of 2011 for the newly engaged Alderwoman?
Ward 6 School Committee: Paul Bockelman, in my opinion, is one of the most approachable politicians in the City. Smart and one of the best speech writers I've read in a while-I see no one dissatisfied enough to not want him on the School Committee.
Ward 7 Alderman: I wonder who the PDSers will choose this time to run against Bob Trane? Another name that keeps popping up is Sean Fitzgerald and he seems hell bent on being elected in Somerville. Is he going to challenge Bob Trane or stick with another At Large run?
Update: Katjana Ballantyne has formally announced. Trane, on the other hand, has not formally announced that he's seeking another term.
Ward 7 School Committee: Mary Jo Rossetti is too dedicated to her role on the School Committee to consider going up or elsewhere. Voted as Chair, expect her to devote her time to making serious changes to the School System in Somerville and beyond, as well as, easily winning reelection.
Alderman At Large: See Ward 7 Alderman. No definite word from Ward 5er Todd Easton on whether he will take another shot at a seat in the horseshoe, nor, from Suzanne Bremer. Could Marty Martinez leave Ward 4 behind and take a shot at an At Large position again?
Update: Sean Fitzgerald continues to spread word that he is running for At Large again. No one else has expressed interest.
The Somerville News has been entertaining some great speculation in their weekly Newstalk column. Check out some interesting insight from January 9th and December 12.