The city’s political season is about to heat up.
The Republicans are slated to pick their municipal candidates Thursday while the Democrats plan to follow suit on Monday, July 27.
The biggest question remains who will take on Mayor Art Ward, the Democratic incumbent who is seeking reelection.
Since Ken Johnson, the 2007 Republican mayoral contender, pulled out this spring, the party has been searching for someone willing to challenge Ward.
So far, there haven’t been any takers.
Both parties aim to field candidates for mayor, treasurer and each of the six City Council seats on the November 3 general election ballot.
It’s possible, particularly on the Democratic side, that there may be primaries as well. They would take place in September.
The GOP doesn’t yet have a candidate to challenge incumbent Democratic Treasurer Bill Veits.
In two of the three council districts, each of which has two seats, the Republicans haven’t found a pair of contenders so far.
At this point, each of the incumbents is seeking reelection to another two year term except for two councilors, 3rd District Democrats Frank Nicastro and Craig Minor.
In the 1st District, incumbent Cliff Block, a Democrat, and Mike Rimcoski, a Republican, are angling for another term. Also in the running is newcomer Kevin Fuller, a Democrat.
In the 2nd District, incumbents Kevin McCauley, a Democrat, and Republican Ken Cockayne are running again. Also seeking election in the district is Republican Richard Scarola and Democrats Al Marko and Tom Ragaini.
In the 3rd District, Democrats Terry Parker and Kate Matthews face a challenge from Republican Derek Czenczelewski. Another GOP hopeful will announce shortly before the nominating convention Thursday, party officials said.
Mayors serve two-year terms for about $100,000 annually. The treasurer earns $5,000 yearly while councilors collect $10,000.
Though most candidates who earn a place on the ballot are nominated by their party’s town committee, anyone can force a primary by collecting signatures. For information about the relevant laws, check with the city clerk’s office and the registrar’s office.
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