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Hampden County Municipal Preliminary Elections 2015

Preliminary Day in Chicopee (Ward 1 only), Springfield and West Springfield is Tuesday September 8 2015.

Preliminary Day in Holyoke is Tuesday September 22, 2015.

Neither Agawam nor Westfield have preliminaries

*NOTE: Not sure of your ward? Enter your address at the Secretary of State’s website to find out where and for whom you vote.  New pages will be posted for municipal elections after September 22.

SEPTEMBER 8th Elections

Chicopee Ward 1 City Council

Photo unavailable (via wikipedia)

Dino Brunetti

Offices Held: City Council Ward 1 2003-2013
Profession: Verizon technician
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On the candidate (briefly): Brunetti has been described as one of Chicopee’s political movers and shakers and ally of Mayor Richard Kos (or opponent of former Mayor Michael Bissonnette, take your pick). Either way, while Kos defeated Bissonnette, Brunetti lost reelection to Adam Lamontagne (see below) and 2015 sets up a rematch between the once and current councilor for this ward, which blooms into a much shape north of the turnpike interchange to encompass much of the Memorial Drive corridor and part of Willimanset.

Photo unavailable (via wikipedia)

Robert Delano

Offices Held: None.
Profession: aircraft mechanic
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On the candidate (briefly): Little is known about this candidate so far, other than he was once allied with Adam Lamontagne and, ostensibly, no longer is. He ran for School Committee the year Lamontagne graduated to the Council, but did not succeed.

Adam Lamontagne (via Facebook/non-campaign)

Adam Lamontagne (incumbent since 2013)

Offices Held: School Committee 2008-2013
Profession: substitute teacher
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On the candidate (briefly): While Lamontagne has zigzagged from Republican to Democrat over the years (municipal races are nonpartisan), he has blazed a path upward politically in Chicopee. Elected in 2007 to the School Committee, he defeated incumbent Dino Brunetti in 2013 to get a place on the City Council. In a city where almost everybody can be polarizing, Lamontagne is no different, possessing both rabid supporters and insistent detractors. Generally speaking, he has emphasized quality of life issues in his campaigns.

Springfield Mayor (related stories)

Salvatore Circosta (via Twitter/@sal4springfield)

Salvatore Circosta

Offices Held: none elected, Community Police Hearing Board
Profession: Business owner, church administrator
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On the candidate (briefly): The former proprietor of a cafe at the “X” in Forest Park, Circosta has become more of a political fixture in the city since. He ran for Ward 3’s City Council seat in 2013 and toyed with a State Rep run in 2014. His relative name recognition and rather blunt critiques of the mayor have made him one favorite of odds-makers to advance beyond the preliminary.

 

Ivelisse Gonzalez (via Facebook/Gonzalez campaign)

Ivelisse Gonzalez

Offices Held: None.
Profession: Personal Care Attendant
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On the candidate (briefly): According to Masslive, Ivelisse’s family has been political active in Puerto Rico. Since coming to the Lower 48 in 1986, however, Ivelisse has not run for office herself. An active opponent of the Western Mass Alcohol Center’s relocation to the North End, which she calls home, that issue, concurrent with her run, has loomed large over her bid.

 

Michael Jones (via Facebook/Jones campaign)

Michael Jones

Offices Held: None
Profession: retail
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On the candidate (briefly): Little is known about this newcomer to politics, other than what he told Masslive. Although his resume is a bit thin, his performance at debate can range considerably both to his benefit and not as much.

Johnnie Ray McKnight (via Twitter/@teamjohnniee2015)

Johnnie Ray McKnight

Offices Held: None elected
Profession: Youth Services
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On the candidate (briefly): Officially the candidate running in the 2015 mayoral race the longest–even than incumbent Domenic Sarno–McKnight has distinguished himself in other ways. Despite few financial resources, McKnight has been trying to grow a grassroots campaign and put forward a policy agenda for the Fall race. Like Circosta, odds-makers like McKnight’s chances of making it past the preliminary although it cannot be both as Mayor Domenic Sarno is sure to advance.

 

Mayor Domenic Sarno, physically absent, but still very much present at Thursday's forum. (WMassP&I)

Domenic Sarno (WMassP&I)

Domenic Sarno (incumbent since 2007)

Offices Held: City Council 2000-2007
Profession: political aide, South End Community Center Executive Director
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On the candidate (briefly): The incumbent mayor of Springfield, Sarno was elected in 2007 in a surprise victory over Charlie Ryan. At the outset of his tenure, Sarno’s power was still largely subordinate to the Control Board. Since 2009, when local control was fully restored, he has had full reign, yet he governs with stricter financial controls imposed by the legislature for the post-Control Board era. Nevertheless, the city’s financial condition has undoubtedly improved on his watch, although critics say not enough. The mayor touts large scale projects  like Union Station and MGM in almost Tommy Carcetti fashion, but his opponents argue something still festers in the heart of the city. In any event, most prognosticators heavily favor Sarno to win a fourth term (his second 4 year term) though they do so because his opponents are unlikely to match his warchest or name recognition–not because Sarno is himself unbeatable.

 

Beverly Savage (via Facebook/Savage campaign)

Beverly Savage

Offices Held: None
Profession: unknown
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On the candidate (briefly): A late entrant into the mayoral race, Masslive reported that she had been active in politics in her native Connecticut before moving to Springfield, then Florida and then returned. Although possessing little money or organization, Savage employed an energy and liveliness at one debate that has, despite its large field, been somewhat missing from this contest.

 

No photo available (via wikipedia)

Miguel Soto

Offices Held: None elected, various civic association and political committees, former Community Police Hearing Board commissioner.
Profession: bus driver
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On the candidate (briefly): A write-in candidate for mayor who did not qualify for the ballot, Soto has run for office on several occasions before. Although several candidates have made the state of the city’s schools an issue, Soto has perhaps emphasized them more than most. While write-in/sticker candidacies are not unheard of in Springfield, it does put Soto at something of a disadvantage for September 8.

 

 

West Springfield Mayor

Michael Finn (via Facebook/official)

Michael Finn

Offices Held: Town Council circa 2001-2010, 6th Hampden State Rep 2011-present
Profession: Former court officer
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On the candidate (briefly): A longtime figure in West Springfield politics, Finn moved from the Town Council to the State House of Representatives in 2010 much as now-Senator Jim Welch did in 2004. His tenure in municipal politics in Westside dates to its transition from a town to a city form of government and now, having served it on various legislative levels he seeks the executive office.

Gregory Neffinger (via Twitter/@gregneffinger)

Gregory Neffinger

Offices Held: Mayor 2012-2013, West Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals
Profession: architect
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On the candidate (briefly): When West Springfield’s longtime (and first) mayor retired in 2011, Neffinger succeeded him. His tenure did not go well–at least politically. Whether that was politics or sincere complaints about his administration is up for date, but he lost reelection in 2013 by a large margin. Yet a core group of supporters, he has said, urged him to get back into the fray when the man that beat him stepped aside after one term.

Will Reichelt (via Twitter/@reicheltmayor)

Williams Reichelt

Offices Held: none elected, member West Springfield Planning Board, Community Preservation Commission
Profession: attorney
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On the candidate (briefly): Although young, Reichelt has held numerous appointed posts in his hometown since graduating high school. Still, his professional career remains somewhat in its infancy and thus his youth is a double-edged sword in this campaign. But he has dived into the campaign with full abandon, squeezing events in around his full-time job as the town attorney, a position to which incumbent mayor Ed Sullivan appointed him. The two remain close and some top Reichelt campaign staff were also behind Sullivan’s win in 2013.

SEPTEMBER 22nd Elections

Holyoke Mayor (related stories)

Alex Morse (via Facebook/official)

Alex Morse (incumbent since 2012)

Offices Held: none, Holyoke Youth Commission circa 2007
Profession: politician/activist
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On the candidate (briefly): The incumbent, Morse is seeking his third term as mayor of his hometown, which he became the fall after graduating from Brown University. Now 26, a sign that things have changed is his opponents attack his youth less than demand new leadership. Much of the coalition that delivered him victory in 2011 and withstood efforts to defeat him in 2013 appears intact, although fresh challenges, the state takeover of the schools and the slow process of turning the city’s fortune around remain hurdle between Morse and another two years at the Paper City’s helm

Fran O’Connell (via Twitter/@franforholyoke)

Francis “Fran” O’Connell

Offices Held: none
Profession: nurse, business owner
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On the candidate (briefly): The owner of O’Connell Professional Nurse Service, O’Connell himself has developed a colorful reputation in the Paper City and that reputation has both its fans and critics. He has utilized his business experience as a credential on the trail and poured his personal wealth into his campaign coffers. Some untoward remarks a former staffer reporter raised eyebrows for a number of reasons. While it was and remains a talk of the town in Holyoke, there has been no noticeable change in strategy on O’Connell’s part.

Anthony Soto (via Facebook/Soto campaign)

Anthony Soto

Offices Held: Ward 2 City Council 2012-present
Profession: staffer, Secretary of State’s office
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On the candidate (briefly): A mayoral run by Soto had been rumored for some time, and had been revealed before its formal announcement earlier this year. Perhaps hoping to consolidate the anti-Morse vote, he seemingly lost out to O’Connell on that front. However, Soto has attracted some attention (such as suggesting the Western Mass Alcohol Center remain in Holyoke) and his wife, retiring Fitchburg mayor Lisa Wong is widely respected in Massachusetts political circles, perhaps providing a fundraising avenue for the aspiring mayoral candidate.

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