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Newton to hold Sept. 14 primary for three-way race for mayor

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, left, is running for a second term this year. She faces challenges from Amy Mah Sangiolo, center, a former Ward 4 Councilor-at-large; and Albert Cecchinelli.
Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, left, is running for a second term this year. She faces challenges from Amy Mah Sangiolo, center, a former Ward 4 Councilor-at-large; and Albert Cecchinelli.

Newton will hold a citywide primary on Sept. 14 to winnow down a three-way race for the next mayor ahead of the city’s municipal election in November, as Ruthanne Fuller campaigns for a second four-year term amid challenges by Amy Mah Sangiolo and Albert Cecchinelli.

The city clerk’s office Wednesday afternoon finalized the list of candidates who will appear on the Nov. 2 municipal ballot, which also will include races for City Council and School Committee.

This year’s election is likely to center on the mayor’s race, as the city continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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On Sept. 14, Newton primary voters will tighten the mayor’s field to two candidates, who will continue onto the Nov. 2 municipal election ballot.

Sangiolo served for 20 years as an alderwoman and city councilor-at-large from Ward 4, and launched her bid for mayor in June. Both Sangiolo and Cecchinelli were part of a seven-candidate field in the 2017 mayor’s race to succeed then-Mayor Setti Warren.

That year, Fuller became the first woman to be elected Newton’s mayor, after serving about eight years as a Ward 7 councilor-at-large.

On the November ballot, each Newton voter will choose 16 at-large members of the City Council, eight members of the School Committee, and the mayor, who also serves as a ninth School Committee member. Each voter also chooses a local city councilor to represent one of their eight wards.

The city’s mayor serves a four-year term, while city councilors and School Committee members serve two years.

In Ward 1, Councilor Maria Scibelli Greenberg is running for reelection and faces challenger Kevin Riffe.

Allan L. Ciccone was originally a candidate in the race for the seat held by Greenberg, but withdrew on Monday., according to Christopher Sullivan, Newton’s acting city clerk.

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Ciccone remains a candidate in the separate Ward 1 at-large councilor race, which is decided by a citywide vote in November. There are two open at-large seats, and incumbents Alison Leary and John Oliver also are running for reelection.

This November’s down-ballot races for those positions will have few contested races, as a majority of incumbents face no challengers this year.

Newton’s current city councilors and School Committee members were elected in the 2019 municipal election, and began their current terms in January 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began. Like Fuller, incumbents are now asking voters to continue their oversight of the city and its schools.

Of the 24 members of Newton’s City Council, 15 incumbents are running unopposed for reelection on the ballot this November.

Each ward is represented by two at-large councilors. There are no four-way races for any ward’s at-large council seats, which means at least one incumbent from each ward is guaranteed to return for the upcoming City Council term in January.

On the School Committee, six candidates of the eight-member School Committee face no challengers this year, despite the departure of four incumbent members.

Ruth Goldman, the chairwoman and Ward 6 representative, and Margaret Albright of Ward 2, are not running for school board due to term limits. Meanwhile, Ward 1′s Bridget Ray-Canada and Ward 8′s Matthew Miller have said they are not seeking reelection.

Below is a ward-by-ward breakdown of Newton’s races for City Council and School Committee.

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City Council

Ward 1 -- Alison Leary and John Oliver are running for reelection as councilors-at-large with challenger Allan L. Ciccone on the ballot. Leary was first elected in 2013, while Oliver was elected during a special election in March.

Maria Scibelli Greenberg, first elected as Ward 1 councilor in 2017, faces challenger Kevin Riffe.

Ward 2 -- Emily Norton, who was elected Ward 2 councilor in 2013, is running for reelection against challenger Jessica L. Aker Archer.

Susan Albright, the City Council president, and her colleague Tarik Lucas are running unopposed for reelection as at-large councilors.

Ward 3 -- Councilors-at-large Andrea Kelley and Pamela Wright seek reelection this year, alongside challenger Meryl Kessler. Kelley was first elected in 2017, while Wright was elected in 2019.

Julia Malakie, who was also first elected in 2019, is facing challenger James Cote in the race for Ward 3 councilor.

Ward 4 -- Lenny Gentile and Josh Krintzman are running unopposed for reelection as councilors-at-large, along with Christopher Markiewicz, the current Ward 4 councilor, who is also running unopposed.

Ward 5 -- Andreae Downs and Deborah Crossley are running for reelection as councilors-at-large against challenger Rena Getz. Downs was first elected in 2017 and Crossley in 2009.

Bill Humphrey, the current ward 5 councilor, faces challenger Debra Waller. Humphrey was first elected in 2019.

Ward 6 -- Incumbents Vicki Danberg and Alicia Bowman seek another two-year term as councilors-at-large against challenger Lisa Gordon. Danberg was first elected in 2004, while Bowman was first elected in 2019.

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Brenda Noel, the current Ward 6 councilor, faces a challenge from Barry Bergman. Noel was first elected in 2017.

Ward 7 -- Councilors-at-large Becky Walker Grossman and Marc Laredo, along with Ward 7 Councilor Lisle Baker, are running unopposed for reelection.

Ward 8 -- Councilors-at-large David Kalis and Rick Lipof, the council’s vice president, along with Ward 8 Councilor Holly Ryan-Caffray, are running unopposed for reelection.


School Committee

Ward 1 -- Rajeev Parlikar is running unopposed to succeed Bridget Ray-Canada.

Ward 2 -- Christopher Brezski is running unopposed to succeed Margaret Albright.

Ward 3 -- Anping Shen, who was first elected in 2017, is running unopposed for re-election.

Ward 4 -- Tamika Olszewski, (CQ)who was first elected in 2019, is running unopposed for re-election.

Ward 5 -- Emily Prenner, who was also first elected in 2019, is running unopposed for re-election.

Ward 6 -- Paul Levy and Shawn Fitzgibbons are running to succeed Ruth Goldman.

Ward 7 -- Kathleen Shields is the only incumbent School Committee member to face an opponent on the ballot this November, and is being challenged by Valerie Pontiff. Shields was first elected in 2017.

Ward 8 -- Cove Davis is running unopposed to succeed Matthew Miller.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.