The ballot has been set this week for the November City Election and four legitimate races have emerged – one in the at-large category and three at the district seat level.
First and foremost was the surprising entrance into the race of Bob Bishop in the District 1 race. Bishop, the former City Clerk, will make a run against District 1 Councillor Paul Murphy.
Those on the inside circles are already starting to handicap this race, which will feature a veteran of Chelsea politics and an established sitting councillor in the Prattville area – which is the most active and outspoken area of the City.
Bishop is a former alderman and his daughter recently held the District 1 seat. Meanwhile, Murphy is the son of ever-popular Chelsea District Court Magistrate Kevin Murphy. Many believe Bishop will give Murphy a run for his money, but there is a strong contention among the know-it-alls that Murphy might be too strong in the district right now.
Time will tell as the campaigns begin to materialize.
Another surprise race came in District 2, where newcomer Todd Nordstrom – a family man who lives on Washington Avenue with his wife and kids – has jumped into the race against Chris Cataldo.
Nordstrom was involved and outspoken during the prolonged rehabilitation of Washington Avenue and apparently is taking that momentum and applying it to politics.
There’s no telling how this race might pan out.
Cataldo has not been a councillor who has been everywhere all the time, and neither has he been a councillor that makes a lot of noise at City Hall. Nevertheless, he has represented the district well, and it will be the person who works the hardest to meet voters that wins this one.
The final district race has already been well-publicized as challenger Henry Wilson has come out strong very early against District 5 incumbent Joe Perlatonda.
The two have already had their differences, and the campaign in that district has already begun in earnest.
The final race for the ballot will be the at-large race, where four candidates are vying for three seats.
The lone challenger is political veteran Deborah Washington – who has indicated she will be out working hard in this election cycle and competing for one of the three seats.
Her battle will be uphill, though.
Sitting incumbents in the at-large race have shown to have a good deal of popularity and political muscle in the City – including Leo Robinson, Calvin Brown and Brian Hatleberg. All three incumbents have been very active over the last several years, and have contributed routinely at Council meetings.
Once again, a consistent and strong effort makes this one too close to call. However, a minimal campaign will make winning an uphill battle.
Those qualifying for the ballot, but having no challenger are:
•Matt Frank, District 3
•Paula Barton, District 4
•Giovanni Recupero, District 6
•Clifford Cunningham, District 7
•Dan Cortell, District 8