With one month to go to file papers, two councilors undecided on election bid

Westfield At-large Councilor Matt Emmershy (WNG File Photo)

WESTFIELD – With one month remaining for candidates to take out papers for city office before the Aug. 2 deadline, the sole candidates in the mayoral race remain state Sen. Donald F. Humason, Jr. and Westfield Police Captain Michael A. McCabe, both of whom have had their signatures certified, according to City Clerk Karen M. Fanion.
All current City Councilors except for at-large Councilors Matthew Emmershy and Nicholas J. Morganelli, Jr. have taken out their papers for re-election to two-year terms.
Emmershy said Tuesday he is unsure whether he will be seeking re-election.  “I have been consulting with my doctors and once some health questions are resolved, I will make a decision and announce either way,” he said.
Morganelli said he is carefully considering taking out papers again, and had intended to wait until July to do so. “I think we need conservative spending minds on the Council,” he said, referring to the recent budget marathon. “So many councilors voted no on every single item.”
Morganelli said he will submit the papers by the deadline, if he decides to run again to represent the “fiscally conservative voice.”

At-large Councilor Nicholas J. Morganelli, Jr. (WNG File Photo)

Currently, eight residents have taken out papers for the seven At-large seats, including returning councilors Brent B. Bean, II (the only council candidate besides Michael Burns in Ward 4 who has been certified to date); Dan Allie, Dave Flaherty, Cindy C. Harris, and Andrew K. Surprise, who currently serves as Ward 3 Councilor. Also taking out nomination papers for the At-large seats are John M. Bowen, Jr., Rudy F. Musterait, and Jason Russell.
The only currently seated ward councilor who as yet has no competition is Ward 1 Councilor Mary Ann Babinski. In Ward 2, incumbent Ralph J. Figy and Juan F. Navarrete are listed; Ward 3, Bridget Matthew-Kane and Richard Sutter; Ward 4, incumbent Michael Burns and Scott A. Labombard; Ward 5, John J. Beltrandi, III, who is currently serving at-large and is running for the ward seat, and Leslie LeFebvre, current Ward 5 Councilor; and in Ward 6, incumbent William Onyski and Jeffrey A. Neece.
There are three seats up for re-election to a four-year term on the School Committee, and four candidates running to date. The three incumbents, Ramon Diaz, Jr., Diane M. Mayhew and Bo Sullivan have taken out papers, along with former School Committee member Jeffrey L. Gosselin. All but Diaz have had signatures certified.
For the six ward seats for a two-year term on the Municipal Light Board, only candidates in Wards 1 and 6 have competition to date. In Ward 1, Luis Morales and Kevin M. Kelleher, Sr. have taken out papers. In Ward 6, Jason J. Bean and Robert C. Sacco have taken out papers, with Bean the only MLB candidate to have papers returned and certified.
Also running for the MLB are Ray Rivera in Ward 2, Dawn M. Renaudette in Ward 3, Francis L. Liptak in Ward 4, and Thomas P. Flaherty, Sr. in Ward 5.
No one has taken out papers for a six-year term on the Athenaeum Board of Trustees.
As of July 1, no preliminary election will be required. A preliminary election will be held only if the number of candidates for an office exceeds twice the number of candidates to be elected.
In other words, a preliminary election will be held for Mayor, Ward Councilor, Municipal Light Board Commissioner, or Athenaeum Trustee if there are three or more candidates for the same office. For Councilor-At-Large, a preliminary election will be held if there are 15 or more candidates, and the number is seven or more for School Committee. A preliminary election will reduce the number of candidates in the mayoral, ward council, Municipal Light Board Commission or Athenaeum Trustee race to two and in the Councilor-At-Large race to 14. The number of candidates will be reduced to twice the number to be elected.
None of the offices to date have more than twice the number of candidates to be elected.

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