Ya gotta love city political operatives’ absentee ballot machinations. Apples to apples at this point during hotly contested September Democratic primaries for City Council more than 1,000 absentee ballot requests citywide were made to the Town Clerk’s Office. What is it now for a general election where an additional 20,000 voters may participate? Just over 100. And so it goes in this sleepy election cycle.
Nine of 10 City Council districts had primaries in September. By the time primary day rolled around more than 1,600 absentee ballots had been issued, according to the Town Clerk’s Office, most of them in the traditional districts loaded with housing projects and elderly housing complexes. It’s something of a rite of passage in city politics–fish where the fish are to bank as many votes as possible in competitive districts. (Translation: they’ll not likely make it to the polls.)
And come the general election when facing a Republican registration outflanked 10 to 1, no need to covet absentee ballots, right? Gee, amazing how the timing works with little on the line.
On Nov. 7 six school board positions and all 20 City Council seats will appear on the ballot.
Voters will decide a two-year school board seat to fill out the four-year term of Republican Kevin McSpirit. Mayor Joe Ganim appointed John Weldon to temporarily fill that void last November until the next general election. Democrat Sybil Allen, a former City Council member, and Republican James Carbone, a former board member, will vie to fill the position.
Hernan Illingworth, a former board member, Jessica Martinez and Chaila Robinson, will appear on the Democratic line for four-year terms. Republicans will run Joe Sokolovic, Weldon and Chris Taylor. Sokolovic, Shavonne Davis and school board incumbent Howard Gardner will appear on the Working Families Party line. Sokolovic has two lines. City minister Sarah Lewis is running as a petitioning candidate.
Under state-mandated, minority-party representation up to six members of a major party may fill the nine school board seats. Maria Pereira, Dennis Bradley and Ben Walker are incumbent Dems on the school board whose terms are up in 2019.
So in this cycle, as a result of the Dems overwhelming registration advantage, Republicans will duke it out with the Working Families Party for the three minority-party BOE slots.