The deadline is looming for would-be candidates to collect and turn in the required number of signatures of registered voters to cement a place on the fall election ballot.

With the deadline to take out and return nomination papers set for the close of business at City Hall on Tuesday, July 27, the number of potential candidates has grown to 16 individuals running for City Council, eight seeking a seat on the School Committee, and seven running for mayor. 

Mayoral candidates each must collect 300 verified signatures from registered city voters to earn a spot on the ballot.

Only John M. Harvey Jr. had secured a spot on the mayoral ballot as of Thursday, although incumbent Sefatia Romeo Theken, Joseph W Polizzia, Jr., Brian Jay Pollard, Robert Russell, Francisco A Sclafani, and Gregory P. Verga pulled papers.

Would-be candidates for either a councilor at-large or School Committee seat need 150 signatures to run, while council candidates need signatures from 75 voters within the ward to run for a ward council spot.

Robin J. Hubbard is the only one now on the ballot for the four councilor at-large seats. She could face incumbent James O'Hara, Peter Cannavo, Tony M. Gross, Jason Grow, Carleton Bruce McKay Jr., and Tracy J. O'Neil.

O'Neil has also pulled papers for Ward 2 councilor, potentially pitting her against Vincent A, Orlando and incumbent Barry Pett. 

Adam J. Orlando is the only announced candidate for Ward 3 council seat.

Seeking re-election are Ward 1 Councilor Scott Memhard, Ward 4 Councilor Val Gilman and Ward 5 Councilor Sean Nolan. 

The School Committee's race could be chock full of incumbents as Kathleen Clancy, Melissa Joy Teixeira Prince, Samantha Watson and Laura Wiessen are all back in the race. Only Wiessen had secured a spot on the ballot as of Friday. 

A new contender for a school seat is Richard John Roberts, Jr. who will be on ballot, and possibly William W. Melvin Jr., Keith A Mineo, and Thomas Stein.

Not seeking another term are Councilors-at-Large Melissa Cox and Jen Holmgren, Ward 3 Councilor Steve LeBlanc, School Committee Chairman Jonathan Pope, and School Committee member Joel Favazza. 

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.

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford may be contacted at 978-675-2705, tbradford@gloucestertimes.com or on Twitter at TayBradford97.

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