At least three Boston city councilors – including two who are serving their first terms – can breathe a little easier: They officially have no challengers in the fall election, and can coast their way to another two years in office.
Tuesday was the last day for candidates for the nine district and four at-large seats to turn in signatures to qualify for the November election and, if necessary, a preliminary election.
And while elections officials were still reviewing paperwork to determine who will officially qualify for the election, this much was clear: No one challenged nine-year Councilor Matt O’Malley, whose district is largely based in Jamaica Plain; or freshmen Councilors Lydia Edwards, who represents Charlestown, the North End and East Boston; and Edward Flynn, who represents South Boston and Chinatown.
The three candidates said they will continue to work for voters. “I love this job, I love this district, and it is an honor to continue to represent District 1,” Edwards said. “While I am not formally opposed, I will continue to work hard, be present, and tackle every-day problems for my constituents.”
Flynn said, “I’m going to continue to work as hard now, whether I had an opponent or not. And I’m just focused on doing the job, and working on issues that I care deeply about.”
O’Malley also said he and his campaign still plan to knock on doors to ask for votes, and have embarked on a new initiative to highlight the work of nonprofit groups in the neighborhood.
“There are two ways to run for office, scared and unopposed, and I’ve done both,” he said, repeating a favorite adage, “and while I don’t want to take anything for granted, it’s gratifying to know I’ve earned the trust of my constituents and neighbors.”
Candidates have expressed interest in other districts, though city officials say it could take several days before all candidates have been qualified.
To qualify, candidates must submit to election officials a list of signatures from registered voters: The required number of signatures varies by district, though most require 200. At-large candidates need 1,500 signatures.
With 10 qualified candidates for an at-large seat, the city is also slated to see a preliminary election in that race for the first time since 2013. The top eight would go on to the general election for one of the four at-large seats.
Incumbent councilors Michael Flaherty, Michelle Wu, and Anissa Essaibi-George have already qualified, and Althea Garrison is slated to be qualified in the coming days, city officials said.
Other candidates who were qualified were: Priscilla E. Flint-Banks, Martin Keogh, William King; Julia Mejia, Jeffrey Michael Ross, and Alejandra St. Guillen.
Councilor Frank Baker, who represents the South End and parts of Dorchester, could face a challenger, though he was the only candidate to qualify for the election by Tuesday.
City Council President Andrea Campbell, whose district is largely based in Dorchester, and challenger Jeff Durham have both qualified for the election.
The District 5 seat, which includes parts of Mattapan and Hyde Park, is open, with incumbent Councilor Timothy McCarthy opting against re-election. As of Tuesday, the list of qualified candidates includes: Ricardo Arroyo, Maria Esdale Farrell, Cecily Leticia Graham, Yves Mary Jean, Justin Matthew Murad, Alkia T. Powell, Jean-Claude Sanon, and Mimi E. Turchinetz.
Councilor Kim Janey, who represents Roxbury, qualified to run for re-election. And while several challengers had expressed a willingness to run, none had been qualified by Tuesday.
The race to replace Councilor Josh Zakim, whose district is based in the Back Bay, includes Priscilla Kenzie Bok, Montez David Haywood, Landon Lemoine, Kristen Mobilia, and Helene Vincent. Zakim previously announced he would not run for re-election.
Councilor Mark Ciommo, from Allston-Brighton, has also announced he would not run again. The candidates who have qualified to replace him are: Liz A. Breadon, Craig R. Cashman, Lee Nave Jr., and Amanda Gail Smart.