City Council field still fluid pending verified signatures

All Boston City Council hopefuls have submitted their nomination papers and will continue campaigning while elections officials verify the number of signatures needed to make the ballot. Preliminary elections are all but certain in four districts and the citywide at-large race.

Every incumbent running has qualified for the ballot, though three councillors have chosen not to seek re-election: Tim McCarthy in District 5, Josh Zakim in District 8, and Mark Ciommo in District 9. As of May 28, four sitting councillors had no opponents: Lydia Edwards in District 1, Ed Flynn in District 2, Frank Baker in District 3, and Matt O’Malley in District 6.

Of the roughly two dozen at-large candidates who pulled papers, 15 had qualified for the September preliminary selection by the end of May. Incumbents Annissa Essaibi-George, Michael Flaherty, Althea Garrison, and Michelle Wu skated past the required 1,500 signatures to guarantee a shot to keep their seats in the Sept. 24 preliminary election.

They will face Domingos DaRosa, of Hyde Park; Michel Denis, of Hyde Park; Priscilla Flint-Banks, of Roslindale; David Halbert, of Dorchester; Martin Keogh, of West Roxbury; William King, of Dorchester; Herb Lozano, of Mattapan; Julia Mejia, of Dorchester; Erin Murphy, of Dorchester; Jeffrey Ross, of the South End; and Alejandra St. Guillen, of West Roxbury.

Forum season has already begun. The Jamaica Plain Progressives group held two sessions on two different nights with most of the qualified at-large candidates, contingent on them having open Office of Campaign and Political Finance accounts. There was a split between candidates with less than $10,000 in their accounts and those above that threshold. The Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale group will to host its council forum today (Thurs., June 6).

In the money game, the incumbent councillors have a strong edge, although Garrison’s finances are opaque. St. Guillen, Halbert, and Mejia lead the challengers in fundraising numbers, though Flint-Banks has also passed the $10,000 threshold.

McCarthy’s vacated District 5 seat, representing Roslindale, Hyde Park, and Mattapan, drew ten hopefuls, eight of whom have already made the ballot: Ricardo Arroyo, Maria Esdale Farrell, Cecily Leticia Graham, Yves Mary Jean, Justin Mathew Murad, Alkia Powell, Jean Claude-Sanon, and Mimi Turchinetz. Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale hosted a forum last week where Arroyo, Turchinetz, Farrell, and Powell spoke about their candidacies.

City Council President Andrea Campbell has a challenge in District 4, representing parts of Dorchester and Mattapan. Her lone opponent on the ballot will be Jeff Durham, former campaign manager for Jovan Lacet, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Dan Cullinane in the last two state election cycles.

Kim Janey, who is sharing office space with Councillor Wu and council hopeful St. Guillen, faces two qualified challengers. Perennial candidate Roy Wise and attorney Valeria Hope Rust submitted enough certified signatures to make the District 7 ballot for Janey’s seat.

Six candidates have qualified for the ballot so far in District 8, which covers Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the Fenway, Mission Hill, and Bay Village. District 9 features seven qualified candidates seeking to represent Allston-Brighton. Those two districts have a slightly lower barrier to entry than the standard 200 signatures – District 8 only calls for 130 certified signatures and District 9 for 164.

There may yet be a few more names on the list. Baker in District 3 had three potential challengers, though none has qualified for the ballot so far.

The deadline to file nomination papers passed on May 21, and registrars have until June 25 to finish certifying signatures. The week after that marks the deadline to withdraw from any municipal race.

Many of the candidates were represented in the Dorchester Day Parade and have started making the rounds at civic meetings. Those associations mostly take the summer off for their general membership, so their September return usually features a parade of hopefuls.

Related: Listen to News Editor Jennifer Smith of the Reporter and Yawu Miller of the Bay State Banner discuss the council fields and their implications on The Horse Race podcast.