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April 9, 2013

Council seat draws race in Ward 5

When Ward 5 councilor Greg Verga announced he would run for council-at-large this year, two residents in the ward stepped up to pull papers, seizing the opportunity to run for the seat Verga now holds.

The early candidates for the city’s westernmost ward, Michael Mulcahey and Scotadam Chernov, both characterize themselves as voters unaffiliated with political parties and independent decision makers, and the two agree that outlying fire stations should open more frequently, the direction the candidates would like to see the city take quickly diverges into two separate paths.

The overall campaign map has presented opportunities for new candidates but incumbents too, with Bruce Tobey, one of four councilors-at-large, saying several times that he would forego another run after sitting on the council for the past 7 years, as well as over prior terms. Ward 5 Councilor Verga jumped into fray for an at-large seat, opening the door to new candidates for the ward slot. And with a deadline of mid-August for all city candidates, the field could grow.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk was the first to announce a mayoral campaign, and so far remains without a challenger. Councilors-at-large Bob Whynott and Joe Ciolino have taken out papers to seek re-election to their at-large seats, while Ward 1 Councilor Paul McGeary has taken out papers to run again, as has School Committee member Melissa Teixeira.

While Mulcahey, 49, would reinvigorate the Fuller school building to house three of Gloucester’s elementary schools, Chernov, 46, would convert the Fuller School building into a police and fire headquarters, building a new school facility for West Parish.

Chernov, who lives on Woodward Avenue with his wife and cat Borris, moved to Gloucester 15 years ago to advance in his work as a chiropractor by buying a practice from a retiring practitioner. Chernov was a Gloucester Rotarian for many years, he said, and would like to get back into the Rotary Club. But politics have also captured Chernov’s interest for years and along with refocusing on rotary, he decided recently to throw himself into the political ring.

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