Several councilors noted that Ryan may face an especially tough decision, since he plans to give up his ward seat in the fall city election to run for one of four at-large positions. If he votes for Pinto, or even Corchado, and they decide to run for re-election as an at-large councilor, he has granted incumbency to a potential opponent.
In 2006, the last time the council filled a vacancy, several members said they voted for Mark Blair, a former councilor, because he pledged not to run for re-election.
The battle for Lovely’s seat took a turn last month when Darek Barcikowski, the at-large runner-up in 2011, who finished ahead of Pinto, decided not to submit his name. Based largely on the fact he was next in line with voters, Barcikowski had at least three votes: Councilor-at-large Tom Furey, Ward 5 Councilor Josh Turiel and Ward 7 Councilor Joe O’Keefe.
With Barcikowski out, those votes are going elsewhere. Furey said he will vote for Corchado in the first round, while Turiel said he is undecided. Both said they will not vote for Pinto.
O’Keefe said he expects to support Sicuranza, at least initially, for a lot of reasons — including the fact he is from Ward 7, O’Keefe’s home turf. He said he likely will shift to Corchado in later rounds, if it goes that far.
Councilor-at-large Kevin Carr, another potential swing vote, said he is “leaning toward Legault.” As of Monday, he said he considers the election undecided.
“I don’t think anybody has a majority of votes right now,” he said. “If I had to handicap it right now, I’d say Steve and Lucy are strong candidates, and I think (Legault) has a chance as well.”
The Salem News was not able to reach Ward 2 Councilor Mike Sosnowski, Ward 3 Councilor Todd Siegel, Ward 6 Councilor Paul Prevey, and Councilor-at-large Arthur Sargent, all of whom are considered Pinto supporters. Sosnowski, in fact, has already gone on record for Pinto.
If there is a point of agreement, it’s that the councilors want to hear from the candidates.
“I’m hoping we give each of the candidates an opportunity to talk a little bit, (to say) why they’re interested and why they think they would be a good fit,” said Carr. “I will go with what I think is the best fit.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.