GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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August 15, 2013

Crowded city races abound

Busy fields emerge for at-large seats, school board

City Clerk Linda Lowe was still counting up signatures for 11th hour mayoral candidate Mac Bell’s collected signatures Wednesday night.

But all other candidates were accounted for, with crowded races emerging for the at-large city councilor and School Committee seats, with contested races for two of Gloucester’s five ward City Council seats as well.

Bell was the last of the city’s candidates for any office to submit his papers in the closing minutes before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. To that end, “we count them in the order in which they were received,” Lowe said Wednesday.

Each qualifying candidate had drawn papers, collected signatures, and turned the papers into the city clerk by Tuesday evening. Bell had collected 326 signatures before the deadline, after drawing papers just the day prior, but Lowe and her staff must certify that 300 of those signatures for his name to make the ballot.

Though Lowe has over a week to finish certifying signatures, she expects to complete the process today. The office’s counts showed that incumbent Mayor Carolyn Kirk had been certified for the ballot in seeking her fourth term.

A councilor-at-large candidate who passed his papers over to the clerk just before Bell Tuesday and had also drawn election papers just he day prior, was on track for certification of the 150 signatures required in the at-large race.

That at-large candidate, Dennis Latham, had failed to return papers for a spot on the mayoral ballot in 2011, citing his family’s concerns over his decision to run.

This time, Latham will join a pool of seven other candidates in the at-large race including, incumbents Joseph Ciolino, Robert Whynott and Sefatia Romeo Theken.

Greg Verga, the current Ward 5 councilor, is also certified on the ballot as an at-large candidate, along with former Ward 3 councilor Steven Curcuru and challengers Robert Whitmarsh, Jr. and Paul Lundberg.

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