Ballot set for Municipal Election with six contested races, one Preliminary

The Municipal Ballot has been set this week for the upcoming September and November City Election processes, with six contested seats and a Preliminary Election for District 3 City Council.

Probably the biggest choice voters will have to make in November will be that of at-large City Council – where four candidates are vying for three seats, all of which have Council experience.

Former Councilor Joe Perlatonda qualified for the ballot, and will join in the race with incumbent Councilors Roy Avellaneda, Leo Robinson and Damali Vidot (in alphabetical order). In November, residents will be called to choose three of the four candidates to sit on the Council.

All three sitting councilors have a great deal of experience, and a large voting base, but Perlatonda comes with many terms under his belt for district seats in various parts of the city.

In District 8, Councilor Calvin Brown will face off against Challenger Maria Belen Power, a long-time activist with GreenRoots. In District 7, popular Councilor Yamir Rodriguez is facing a hard-working challenger in Tanairi Garcia, who has been the director of the food pantry operations at La Colaborativa since the pandemic began. In District 2, Councilor Melinda Vega Maldonado will face Democratic Committee Chair, and attorney, Olivia Anne Walsh – a veteran and resident of the Soldiers’ Home.

District 3 features the only Preliminary Election race, with Councilor Naomi Zabot facing challenges from Norieliz DeJesus and School Committeewoman Marisol Santiago. The top two candidates there will be determined on Sept. 21, and then they’ll move on to the November election.

Other councillors that qualified for the ballot without an opponent include:

•District 1: Councillor Todd Taylor

•District 4: Councillor Enio Lopez

•District 5: Councillor Judith Garcia

•District 6: Councillor Giovanni Recupero

At the School Committee level, the only contested seats will be for the one at-large seat. School Committeeman Roberto Jimenez will face a challenge from Alexis Balcarcel, of Cook Avenue.

The biggest news on the School Committee outside of that is who is not on the ballot. Long-time District 1 School Committeewoman Rosemarie Carlisle – a very active member of a Board that struggles at times with commitment – will not be a candidate this time around for office.

Former School Committeeman Shawn O’Regan has secured a place on the ballot and doesn’t have an opponent.

There are two seats where no one qualified for the ballot, in District 3 and District 4, and there is potentially another vacancy in District 5, where incumbent School Committeeman Henry Wilson has recently been charged with a serious crime that could force him to not seek re-election. He did qualify for the ballot.

The other seats for School Committee include:

•District 2: School Committeewoman Jeannette Velez

•District 6: School Committeewoman Ana Hernandez

•District 7: Committee Chair Kelly Garcia

•District 8: School Committeewoman Yessenia Alfaro

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