District 3 will see all-female Preliminary Election on Sept. 21

For the first time in a long time, the Chelsea Council District 3 seat will feature a Preliminary Election between three established candidates in the community – a choice that voters will be expected to make on Sept. 21.

The ballot was set late last week by the City Clerk, and the District 3 Council race triggered a Preliminary Election – the only seat to require the election that will serve to narrow down the field to two candidates.

The voters are well-served with three established candidates who have been out and about working all summer – including incumbent Councilor Naomi Zabot, Challenger Norieliz DeJesus and School Committeewoman Marisol Santiago. All three have experience in Chelsea politics, City government and the City’s robust non-profit sector.

Councilor Zabot said she is excited to start working toward the Preliminary, which is just six weeks away.

“I am looking forward to a robust campaign season in Chelsea’s District 3 this year,” she said. “I hope that by seeing three strong women running for office, residents are inspired to vote and have their voices be heard.”

Santiago, who joined the race unexpectedly in the last week of signature gathering, said it signals all-around good democracy.

“I want to thank everyone that helped gather signatures because it was a sprint and that shows people are excited about the Preliminary,” she said. “That’s the energy we need to continue toward the Election…The key here is folks want someone they can trust and someone accustomed to making decisions with them. We’re ready to talk to people about this choice.”

DeJesus, who also works for La Colaborativa and serves on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, didn’t immediately return a request for comment, but she said earlier this year that she had hit the ground running in knocking on doors and was ready for a long campaign.

“It’s a huge step for me and I had been thinking about it for a while,” she said earlier this year. “I feel like I owe it to my community. I’m in there with my neighbors and organizing in my district…I feel like I’m already doing the work out in the community and I owe it to those I talk with to bring their voices to City Hall. This year the pandemic hit me hard because I saw so much of what was happening firsthand. I had seen it before during door knocking, but it was amplified so much.” The Preliminary Election will take place on Sept. 21.

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