NEWBURYPORT – With the deadline to take out nomination papers for the city's November elections come and gone, the city's next mayor will be School Committee member Sean Reardon, Plum Island resident Warren Russo or City Councilor Charlie Tontar.
The three mayoral candidates are scheduled to appear in a forum sponsored by The Daily News on Aug. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Nock Middle School auditorium. That event will be open to the public and follow COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The three candidates are seeking to fill the seat vacated by Mayor Donna Holaday, who is not seeking reelection.
There will be little election drama in terms of who will be on the City Council, however, as all six ward races will be uncontested.
Ward 2 Councilor Jared Eigerman, who serves as council president, announced earlier this year he will not seek reelection.
Unless write-in candidates appear or a candidate drops out of a race, Eigerman will be succeeded by Cherry Street resident Jennie Donahue and Ward 1 Councilor Sharif Zeid, Ward 3 Councilor Heather Shand, Christine Wallace in Ward 4, James McCauley in Ward 5 and Ward 6 Councilor Byron Lane are all seeking reelection without challengers.
"I am excited about representing the residents of Ward 2 and championing those residents with the greatest needs and the quietest voices throughout the city. Not having an opponent relieves the stress, but doesn’t change my campaign plan," Donahue said, adding that she would be knocking on doors until Election Day to connect with voters and business owners to learn more about their needs and how to best serve them.
As of Friday, there are five people running for five at-large spots on the council: incumbents Bruce Vogel and Afroz Khan, former Councilor Ed Cameron, and first-time candidates Connie Preston and Mark Wright.
At-large incumbent Joe Devlin pulled nomination papers but had not submitted them as of Friday. Cameron and Khan have also yet to turn in the required number of signatures. The deadline to do so is Tuesday, according to the City Clerk's Office.
Cameron said he planned to return his papers and would collect signatures Saturday morning outside Richdale on Pleasant Street.
"I am looking forward to connecting with voters over the summer and fall to talk about ways to keep Newburyport moving forward. As long as it's safe in terms of COVID, I plan on walking every street in Newburyport by Election Day," Cameron said Friday afternoon.
In other local election news, Laura Viola Maccarone and Steven Cole pulled nomination papers for School Committee on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. They join former Ward 6 Council candidate Sarah Hall, incumbent Brian Callahan, and newcomers Richard Salus, Juliet Walker and Daniel Blair, who have already returned nomination papers to City Hall.
The preliminary election is Sept 21. Election Day is Nov. 2. The last day to register to vote in the preliminary election is Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. The last day to register to vote in the final election is Oct. 13 at 8 p.m., according to the City Clerk's Office.
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.