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At least six candidates in race to become Framingham’s first mayor

Framingham’s preliminary election will take place Sept. 26.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

At least six candidates are running to become Framingham’s first mayor, leading the transition from the Commonwealth’s largest town to its newest city.

As of Wednesday, the six certified candidates were Benjaman A. Neves-Grigg Sr., Dhruba P. Sen, Priscila Sousa, John Stefanini, Joshua Paul Horrigan, and Yvonne M. Spicer.

Two other candidates — Scott Liftman and Mark S. Tilden — turned in signatures by Monday’s deadline, but had yet to be certified, said Valerie Mulvey, Framingham’s town clerk.

Many of the mayoral candidates have little political experience or name recognition.

“I am a little bit surprised,’’ said resident John Stasik, a former state representative who worked against adopting the new city charter. “I thought particularly at that salary that there would be more people.’’


The new mayor will have a salary equal to the current Framingham town manager of $187,639.

In addition to the candidates running for mayor, five people are running for two councilor at-large seats, and at least two candidates are running for each of the nine district council seats. Six of the nine district School Committee seats will have contested races.

All candidates have until July 19 to withdraw their names. A final list will be posted on the town clerk’s website on July 20. The preliminary election will be held Sept. 26; the general election is Nov. 7.

Neves-Grigg is a Marine veteran who later served on the Framingham Police Department. He has worked as a government contractor to train the Iraqi and Afghanistan national police.

Stefanini, a lawyer, previously served two terms as a selectman and five terms as a state representative.

Sen has served as a Town Meeting member and is a civil rights organizer. He has served on the town’s Fair Housing Committee.

Sousa is a legal secretary and former intern to state Senator Barbara L’Italien. She has served on the Board of Selectmen’s Human Relations Commission.


Spicer is a Town Meeting member. She is vice president of Advocacy & Educational Partnerships for the National Center for Technological Literacy division at the Museum of Science and serves on the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council.

Horrigan is a community activist and public speaker.

Residents narrowly approved a ballot question in April changing the government structure from a town to a city.

Under the new charter, the City Council will have nine district members serving two-year terms and two at-large members serving four-year terms. The mayor will replace the Board of Selectmen as the town’s chief executive, and the City Council, meeting at least monthly, will replace the representative Town Meeting.

Currently, Town Meeting is made up of 216 members — 12 from each of the town’s 18 precincts.

The five candidates for at-large are George P. King Jr., Christine A. Long, Pablo Maia, Cheryl Tully Stoll, and Samuel J. Mercurio Jr.

Candidates for other races are listed below:

District 1, Heather Celeste Bachman; Charlie Sisitsky; Joseph Norton; and Gerald Bloomfield.

District 2, Jeanne I. Bullock; and Pam Richardson.

District 3, Katherine Murphy; Richard J. Weader, II; Joel Winett; and Adam C. Steiner.

District 4, Michael P. Cannon; James Pillsbury; and Amanda Page Shepard.

District 5, Robert D. Case; Dennis L. Giombetti; and Cheryl L. Gordon.

District 6, Brian Dorfman; Scott Ellinwood; Philip R. Ottaviani Jr.; and Michael M Rossi.

District 7, William Patrick Lynch; Sylvia Ruiz; and Margareth Basilio Shepard.


District 8, Steven P. Croci; Judith Grove; and Jim Wade Hansen.

District 9; William J. LaBarge; and Edgardo A. Torres.

For School Committee District 1, Beverly K. Hugo; and James J. Kelly.

District 2, Richard A. Finlay.

District 3, Sheryl L. Goldstein; and Scott W. Wadland.

District 4, Adam Lawrence Freudberg.

District 5; Noval A. Alexander; and Bradley C. Bauler.

District 6, Michelle A. Brosnahan; and Geoffrey N. Epstein.

District 7, Tiffanie Dawn Maskell.

District 8, Gloria Pascual; and Leslie S. White-Harvey.

District 9, Richard G. Baritz; and Tracey M. Bryant.

Globe correspondent John Hilliard contributed to this report. Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at