Three longtime city officials are not seeking re-election.
City Council President Steve LeBlanc, School Committee Chairperson Jonathan Pope, and School Committee member Joel Favazza have all announced that they will not be seeking another term.
“I may in the future, but I need to take a few years off,” said LeBlanc, the councilor for Ward 3. “Ten years in small town politics is quite a long time.”
LeBlanc explained that he may join a board or commission, but is going to “refocus on filling priorities in life” by spending time with his wife, children, and his soon-to-be grandchild.
“I will step up to make sure that the transition is smooth and that they (his successor) can hit the ground running,” he added.
Two candidates have already emerged in Ward 3 to succeed LeBlanc: Carlton McKay Jr. and Adam Orlando.
Favazza, who will not be running for a fourth term, announced his decision in a Letter to the Editor in early April.
“I believe it is time for more fresh faces and new perspectives on the city of Gloucester School Committee,” he wrote.
Pope, who has spent two decades on the School Committee, had said in 2019 this would be his last term.
With two open seats on the School Committee, Keith Mineo, William W. Melvin, Richard J. Roberts and Thomas A. Stein are in the race for those spots on the six-member committee.
Incumbents in that race who are seeking re-election include Kathleen A. Clancy, Melissa Joy Teixeira Prince, Samantha V. Watson, and Laura B. Wiessen.
Meanwhile, the race for mayor is now five candidates deep as John Harvey has launched a bid to run the city of Gloucester.
As of May 18, Harvey, Francisco Sclafani, Joseph Polizzia, Brian Pollard and incumbent Sefatia Romeo Theken have all pulled papers for mayor. Each must collect 300 verified signatures from registered city voters to earn a spot on the ballot.
On the council, Valerie Gilman, who is currently the council's vice president, is planning to run for re-election and has pulled papers to represent Ward 4 once again.
Also running for reelection are Ward 1's Scott Memhard, Ward 2's Barry Pett and Ward 5's Sean Nolan.
Already campaigning for an at-large council seat is Gregory P. Verga, who pulled papers earlier. He had served as a Ward 5 councilor and School Committee member before seeking and winning an at-large seat in 2013. In 2015, he ran for mayor, losing to Romeo Theken and then mounting an unsuccessful campaign to retain his at-large council seat.
Robin Hubbard is also in the at-large race, while incumbents Melissa Cox, Jen Holmgren, John McCarthy and Jamie O'Hara, had not pulled papers, as of Wednesday.
Gloucester's preliminary election, if necessary, is set for Tuesday, Sept. 14, with the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2. If three or more candidates collect enough signatures to be placed on the ballot for mayor or any individual ward council seat, it would force preliminaries in those races. If more than eight candidates seek the city's four at-large council seats — or if more than 12 candidates seek School Committee seats, that would also force preliminaries for those slots.
Would-be candidates need 150 signatures to run for either a councilor at-large or School Committee seat, and signatures from 75 voters within the ward to run for a ward council spot.
The deadline to take out nomination papers is July 27.
The deadline to submit nomination papers for certification of signatures to the Board of Registrars is also July 27 at 5 p.m.
Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.