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June 11, 2013

At-large race draws to six entries

As city elections draw nearer, more candidates are plunging into the races, including a total of six candidates who will now vie for the four councilor-at-large seats and three who are now trying their hand at Ward 5.

The at-large election will include three incumbents, with Bruce Tobey retiring from the position. And, while two new candidates, Paul L. Lundberg and Robert Whitmarsh, have added themselves to the list of potentials, current Ward 5 councilor Greg Verga has thrown his name in the at-large ring too.

Whitmarsh heads a family-owned locksmith business, Whitmarsh Lock & Safe that he has run since 1975. He was also a driving force as a member of the Steering Committee that worked to develop and get state approval for the new Gloucester Harbortown Cultural District.

“I’ve been listening for a long time,” Whitmarsh said. “I will not be a candidate that supports one or two issues but will be interested in the whole picture that shapes Gloucester.”

Whitmarsh said Monday that, although he has yet to pinpoint the city’s biggest issues and prioritize a stance, he wants to help Gloucester continue to stride toward improvements.

“The city is doing fairly well but I don’t want to just settle when we can really have more for the city,” Whitmarsh said.

Lundberg, meanwhile, has lived in Gloucester most of his life, but traveled frequently for work. The 1969 Gloucester High School attended college in Chicago and moved into the railway business, buying, fixing up and reselling railways with an informal group of colleagues.

Lundberg was the general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail for one year in 2006, and sat on the city’s Planning Board between 2001 and 2007, acting as chairman for two of those years. Then, his group purchased a rail company called Rail America and he began traveling out of state weekly.

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