NEWBURYPORT — Three more candidates have taken out nomination papers for the City Council, including Plum Island resident and former School Committee member Mark Wright.
The other two are familiar faces on the council, current Ward 3 Councilor Heather Shand and Ward 4 Councilor Christine Wallace.
Wright joins incumbent Bruce Vogel and challengers Ed Cameron and Constance Preston in vying for five at-large spots. None of the four other incumbents — Barry Connell, Charlie Tontar, Afroz Khan or Joe Devlin — have pulled nomination papers.
Shand and Wallace join Ward 6 Councilor Byron Lane and Ward 5 Councilor James MacCauley in taking out nomination papers. Ward 2 Councilor Jared Eigerman, who serves as council president, announced in April he would not seek another term. Ward 1 Councilor Sharif Zeid has not publicly announced his intentions.
Phone calls to Shand and Wallace for comment were not returned Monday before The Daily News' deadline.
Wright, 56, lives on Reservation Terrace on Plum Island and is one of many homeowners whose property is in danger of being damaged after a series of powerful storms eroded sand dunes around them.
But the South African native said he did not want to be known as a "one-issue candidate" who made a knee-jerk decision to run based on where he lived.
"It's one of the reasons but I think my candidacy is wider than that," Wright said.
Wright went on to name what has become a familiar list of broader campaign issues, including roads and sidewalk repairs, sewer and water improvements and overall infrastructure quality. He also said it it important the city maintain its robust financial health.
For four years, three as vice chairman, Wright was a member of the School Committee, including during the term of former Mayor Mary Anne Clancy. He is a past president of the Newburyport Education Foundation and works at The Provident Bank.
Wright said his decision to run was not based on who is or not running, but rather on his history of service to the city.
While the council race has picked up considerable momentum the past month, the race to succeed Mayor Donna Holaday has essentially ground to a halt. Holaday announced in January she would not seek another term.
School Committee member Sean Reardon, who announced his candidacy before Holaday made her announcement, and Plum Island resident Warren Russo have announced they are running for the corner office. But those announcements were made months ago.
In other election news, Juliet Walker and Daniel Blair have pulled nomination papers for the School Committee.
Dave Rogers is a staff writer with The Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008