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Springfield School Comm.Member Announces For Mayor

By Paul Tuthill

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-965695.mp3

Springfield, MA – It is shaping up to be a very active municipal election season in Western Massachusetts. Some long time incumbent mayors are bowing out, while others are facing credible challengers. WAMC"s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..

There will likely be a preliminary election for mayor in Springfield this September for the first time in more than a decade, as three veteran politicians will slug it out for the job, that for the first time, will come with a four year term..
Springfield School Committee member Antonette Pepe officially launched her campaign Tuesday pledging an open administration if she is elected Springfield's next mayor..
Pepe, a mother of three grown children, worked as a paraprofessional for the public schools and was the union president. She was first elected to the school committee in 2004. A self described watchdog for the taxpayer, Pepe has been an outspoken critic of what she perceives as wasteful spending in the schools particularly on administrative jobs.. She frequently votes in the minority..often the only no vote..on spending requests.
In announcing her candidacy before a room full of supporters in a social hall , Pepe stressed familiar themes of economic development, public safety, and education
Pepe joins Jose Tosado the president of the Springfield City Council..who declared his candidacy for mayor back in January. Tosado was the first Hispanic elected to the Springfield City Council in 2003. He would be Springfield's first Latino Mayor. The incumbent, Domenic Sarno, who was first elected in 2007, has said he will run again
If there are more 2 candidates after nomination papers are filed and certified by election officials this summer there would be a preliminary vote in September to reduce the field to two for the November final election.
Political consultant Anthony Cignolli says it is rare to have such a run off involving so many veteran politicians..
Springfield voters, two years ago , approved a referendum to extend the mayor's term to four years.
The city of Holyoke is also likely to see a competitive contest for its top elected office. One term incumbent mayor Elaine Pluta is planning to seek re-election. Alex Morse, a youth counselor, and Daniel Boyle, a businessman have both announced their candidacies. Former State Representative Rosemary Sandlin recently announced plans to run for mayor of Agawam, a job held for a total of ten years by Richard Cohen.
Two other long time incumbent mayors, Mary Clare Higgins in Northampton, and Edward Gibson in West Springfield , are going to leave office.

The municipal elections in Western Massachusetts will be on Tuesday November 1st..