Some three weeks before Gloucester’s voters head for the polls, all five of the city’s five contested ballot races heat up Wednesday with the Gloucester Daily Times debates kicking off at 6:15 at Gloucester Stage Company’s Gorton’s Theatre.
All five debates will be at Gloucester Stage, and all are free and open to the public — with all of the questions to be posed based on submissions from Times readers.
Times Editor Ray Lamont, who will serve as the debates’ moderator, noted that there is still time today for readers to submit questions (see related story, Page 3) that can be posed to candidates in any of the contested races.
The two nights of debates will be capped by an hour-long debate between Mayor Carolyn Kirk and challenger Mac Bell, who will square off Thursday night at 8.
But the debates will open tomorrow with Ward 5 City Council candidates William Fonvielle and Scotadam Chernov fielding and debating questions in a 30-minute pairing set for 6:15, while Ward 2 incumbent Melissa Cox and challenger Ann Frontiero Mulcahey will engage in another 30-minute debate starting at 7. The Ward 2 race is a rematch and role reversal of the 2011 campaign, when Cox, then the challenger ousted Mulcahey in her bid to win a second ward term.
The final Wednesday debate will be a one-hour session among all eight candidates for the four councilor-at-large seats, with incumbents Joe Ciolino, Sefatia Romeo Theken and Robert Whynott being challenged by Steve Curcuru, Dennis Latham, Paul Lundberg, Greg Verga and Robert Whitmarsh.
Verga is a current councilor but presently represents Ward 5 and is now seeking a citywide at-large seat, while Curcuru is a former Ward 3 councilor who is making his first citywide run. City residents are assured of having at least one new at-large representative; incumbent at-large and former mayor Bruce Tobey is not seeking re-election.