By Seth Daniel
As the City Election ballot is getting confirmed this week, with Nomination Papers having come due on Tuesday, District 3 Councillor Matt Frank announced that he would not run for re-election.
Nomination Papers were due to the City Clerk by 5 p.m. on Tuesday and the office was still working on certifying everyone’s signatures, but as of Wednesday afternoon it appeared there would be contested races in District 1, District 2, District 5, District 6, District 7, and District 8.
Surprisingly though, there will be no contested race in District 3 as expected, with Councillor Matt Frank bowing out and leaving former Councillor Joe Perlatonda alone in the race.
Frank said it was a recent decision based upon his work, which is in Dorchester. Having to get back to meetings on Mondays, and to attend community events was becoming difficult to balance with his work, he said.
“After dealing with the Council job and my regular job simultaneously for awhile now, I haven’t really been able to balance the two,” he said. “I had to make a decision and I had to go with the one that pays the bills…The biggest thing is getting back and forth to Chelsea from my work.”
With his exit, it leaves former District 5 Councillor Joe Perlatonda without an opponent. Many had been eyeing the race between the two, as they were not allies when serving on the Council together a few years ago. Since leaving the Council two years ago, Perlatonda moved to Clinton Street, where he now lives.
The races in District 1 and District 8 seem to be the ones now that are pegged for heavy competition.
Those turning in nomination papers in District 1 include former City Clerk Bob Bishop, Collaborative organizer Sylvia Ramirez, Planning Board member Todd Taylor and School Committeeman Shawn O’Regan.
Only Bishop and Ramirez had been certified as of press time though, but the others were expected to make the cut.
District 1 is an open seat as Councillor Paul Murphy announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election.
In District 8, political newcomer Zaida Ismatul Oliva, former At-Large Councillor Calvin Brown and Jermaine Williams have all qualified for the ballot and will be in the running for that open seat as well. Councillor Dan Cortell announced he would not seek re-election earlier this summer.
In District 2, Soldiers’ Home resident and attorney Olivia Anne Walsh will face incumbent Councillor Luis Tejada – both of who are certified and on the ballot.
In District 5, Councillor Judith Garcia will enter into a rematch with challenger Henry Wilson. Both are certified for the ballot and ran against one another last City Election.
In District 6, Councillor Giovanni Recupero will face newcomer Kristofer Haight – who appears to be concerned with issues like public transportation but is not well-known in the community as of now. Haight is not yet certified for the ballot, though Recupero is.
In District 7, Councillor Yamir Rodriguez will face License Board member Mark Rossi.
In District 4, Councillor Enio Lopez will run unopposed.
All three at-large candidates, Roy Avellaneda, Leo Robinson and Damali Vidot, will also not have any challengers in the election. All three have been certified for the ballot.
Bobby Pereira will not seek re-election
In yet another shocking move, up and coming School Committeeman Bobby Pereira announced on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election.
One of the few dedicated members on a School Committee that has trouble showing up and simply achieving a quorum, Pereira was expected to cruise to re-election.
Pereira, who represents District 5 on the Committee, said his decision revolved around the fact that he and his wife, Shirley, are expecting their first child.
“I must withdraw myself from the race because I will be given the greatest gift of all in about six months,” he said. “I found out very recently that my wife is nearly three months pregnant with our first child. I will be moving from district 5, and do not want to be elected to serve a district I am not going to live in for much longer… As for now, I need to focus on my child and their needs. I was gearing up for election season but last week when we were given the news I was faced with a choice. All my life I wanted to be a Dad and now I have my chance.”