SALEM — The City Council races are filling up in Salem.
New candidates have emerged in Wards 3, 4 and 7 in this year’s municipal elections. Now, only two races remain uncontested — Ward 1, with incumbent Robert McCarthy; and Ward 6, with incumbent Meg Riccardi — with less than two months to pull and return nomination papers for office.
Candidates have until Friday, July 23, at 5 p.m. to pull papers to run. They’re due back by Tuesday, July 27 at 5 p.m. with at least 25 certified signatures for ward races and 100 for citywide races. Election officials suggest candidates get 20% more signatures than necessary in case some fail certification.
In Ward 3, incumbent Patti Morsillo is facing a challenge from Lemon Drive resident David Freni. In Ward 4, Heritage Drive resident Stephanie Rodriguez joins first-time candidates Leveille “Lev” McClain and Graysen Martinez Ocasio.
South Salem’s Ward 7 also has an interesting race forming, with Francis Riggieri — half of the duo that ran Fran and Diane’s Kitchen on Lafayette Street until their space was lost to redevelopment in 2016 — challenging Maitland Mountain Farm owner Andrew Varela.
None of the three new candidates were immediately available for comment Friday.
On the School Committee, there are now two candidates for three seats.
Incumbent Amanda Campbell has been joined by challenger Zachary Hall, a Broad Street resident. Hall said he’s running to put more attention on inclusive learning and racial equity in schools. He also strives to bolster the district’s theater programming, having a theater background himself.
“It really helps kids on all ends of the spectrum, improving scores,” Hall said. “We have great teachers, administrators, and I want to help them teach these kids as best as we can.”
In addition to Campbell’s seat, incumbents Manny Cruz and Ana Nuncio are up for reelection but had not pulled papers as of Friday. The other elected members of the board — James Fleming, Mary Manning, and Kristin Pangallo — were elected to four-year terms in 2019 and won’t be up for reelection until 2023.
IN THE RUNNING
The following candidates have pulled nomination papers or announced campaigns as of Friday morning. Incumbents are bolded.
MAYOR: Kevin Darcy, Steve Dibble (current Ward 7 city councilor), Kim Driscoll, Gilbert Eaton, Stacia Kraft, George O’Brine, Francis Perley III, Harrison Schell
CITY COUNCILOR-AT-LARGE: Domingo Dominguez, Melissa Faulkner, Ty Hapworth, Juana Hernandez, Alice Merkl, Frederic Norton, Conrad Prosniewski
Ward 1: Robert McCarthy
Ward 2: Gilbert Eaton, Caroline Watson-Felt, James Zavaglia
Ward 3: David Freni, Patricia Morsillo
Ward 4: Leveille McClain, Graysen Martinez Ocasio, Stephanie Rodriguez
Ward 5: Jeff Cohen, Stephen Kapantais, Jerald Tache
Ward 6: Megan Riccardi
Ward 7: Francis Riggieri, Andrew Varela
SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Amanda Campbell, Zachary Hall
HOW TO RUN FOR OFFICE
Nomination papers are available at the City Clerk’s office. They can be pulled until 5 p.m. Friday, July 23, and must be returned by 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 27.
Residents looking to run for a City Council ward seat need to return nomination papers with 25 signatures from voters. For citywide seats like councilor-at-large, School Committee and mayor, a candidate must collect at least 100 signatures.
City Clerk Ilene Simons suggests candidates collect 20% more signatures, in case any fail certification.
The city’s municipal election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 2. If necessary, a preliminary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Forms are available in the clerk’s elections office on the first floor of City Hall, 93 Washington St.