No challengers so far for candidates running for School Committee reelection; opponents pulled papers for Ward 2, 5, 6, at-large Council and mayoral races
By Steve Freker
Unless there’s a late run up just before the deadline, it appears this year’s municipal election is leaning toward the quiet side. The deadline for taking out nomination papers for Malden elected positions is July 31, and the deadline for submitting them to the Board of Registrars of Voters is the day after that, August 1.
As it stands now, for the second consecutive election there will be a contested mayoral race. Three-term incumbent Gary Christenson has declared he will seek reelection to a fourth four-year term, and challenger Lissette Aracely Alvarado has taken out papers and is collecting nomination signatures, according to information displayed by City Clerk Carol Ann Desiderio on the City of Malden’s website.
For City Council, three ward Council seats are being challenged at this time, and a fourth candidate has taken out papers in the Councilor-at-Large race, as have all three at-large incumbents. The Ward 5 Councillor’s post being vacated by Council President Barbara Murphy is being contested at this time by two hopefuls. Councillor Murphy announced earlier this year she was not seeking reelection this year. If nothing changes by the July 31 deadline, five ward Councillors would run unopposed in the fall election.
The latter is the same tune in the Malden School Committee election at this point. Seven of the eight ward-based School Committee members face no opposition as the filing deadline looms. Only one candidate has taken out papers for the open Ward 5 seat being vacated by longtime School Committeeman Adam Weldai, who is not seeking reelection.
For School Committee, the other seven members, all of whom are seeking reelection, are facing no challengers at this time: Michael Drummey (Ward 1), Robert McCarthy Jr. (Ward 2), Vice Chair Jennifer Spadafora (Ward 3), Dawn Macklin (Ward 4), Joseph Gray (Ward 6), Keith Bernard (Ward 7) and Sharon Rose Zeiberg (Ward 8).
In the City Council races, if the proper number of signatures are filed, there will be contested races for Ward 2, where incumbent Councillor Paul Condon is being challenged by Sheila Rachels, and Ward 6, where first-term incumbent Stephen Winslow will face a challenge by Jerry Leone. There are three Councillor-at-Large seats elected citywide, and all three incumbents – Karen Colón Hayes, Carey McDonald and Craig Spadafora – are seeking reelection, with a fourth candidate, Dante DiSerio, also having taken out nomination papers.
For the open School Committee seat in Ward 5, Malden political newcomer Elizabeth J. Hortie has obtained nomination papers, the only potential candidate so far for that position.
For the open Ward 5 City Council seat, Ari Taylor and Julie E. Turner have each taken out nomination papers, and both have already submitted enough certified voter signatures to appear on the ballot. Turner is a political newcomer and Taylor was the runner-up to Councillor Murphy in the 2021 municipal election.
Following are some other key dates regarding the 2023 municipal election:
Saturday, September 9: Deadline to register to vote in the September 19 Preliminary Election.
Tuesday, September 19: Municipal Preliminary Election (if needed).
Saturday, October 28: Deadline to register to vote in the November 7 Municipal Election.
Tuesday, November 7: Municipal Election.
For more information on the 2023 Malden Municipal Election and for a detailed look at the candidates and their progress toward attaining their spots on the ballot, go to the City of Malden website: www.cityofmalden.org. Go to “City Clerk” (under Departments) and then “Voting and Elections.”