It’s candidate roll call recap time, and things are looking a bit disappointing for the local ballot.
Tuesday marked the deadline for candidates for district and county offices (not including the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, more on that below) to file their nomination papers with their local registrars of voters, and the final tally is pretty sad: only five of the Cape’s 12 incumbents seeking re-election — two State Senators, six State Representatives, two Barnstable County Commissioners, and two county officers — have challengers in the coming election.
Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth) is poised to first face a new (and so far invisible) primary challenger, Democrat Stephen M. Palmer of Plymouth, and the winner of that contest will face Sandwich Republican Thomas F. Keyes. State Representative Demetrius J. Atsalis (D – Barnstable) will take on Centerville Democrat Brian R. Mannal, and whoever prevails will go on to the November general election unopposed.
The other contested local races are State Representative Randy Hunt (R – Sandwich) and Sandwich Democrat R. Patrick Ellis for the Fifth Barnstable District; and Commissioners Mary L. (Pat) Flynn of Falmouth and Sheila R. Lyons of Wellfleet against Eric R. Steinhilber of Barnstable (see below for the latest wrinkle in this race).
There’s a chance this number could dwindle further if, during the nomination paper certification process, any candidate should become disqualified for failing to collect enough valid signatures, but this happens infrequently.
I’m truly surprised by the slim pickings considering this is a presidential election cycle, which is generally more active than mid-term elections, but I also feel sorry for voters. Solid contests are good all around: they make the incumbents work for their jobs, open up opportunities for new blood and new ideas and government, and lead to more educated voters. A greater number of contested races would have been beneficial all around.
On the plus side, the race for US Representative of the Ninth Congressional District is looking ever more robust. Republican Adam Chaprales of Sandwich is throwing his hat in the ring, setting the stage for a GOP primary race; Christopher Sheldon of Plymouth is already running.
Mr. Chaprales is a former one-term Sandwich selectmen whose main claim to fame is that at age 21, he was the town’s youngest-ever selectman. Now 28, he works for New York Life Insurance Co. He launched his campaign this past weekend. His official campaign website is www.adamforcongress.com.
(One bit of web design advice for the candidate: that floating “sign up for updates” bar is wicked annoying. Lose it.)
Incumbent Rep. William R. Keating (D), Democrat C. Samuel Sutter, the Bristol County District Attorney, and non-party candidates Daniel Botelho of Fall River and Peter A. White of Mashpee are also running.
The deadline for Congressional candidates with party affiliations to file their paperwork is this coming Tuesday. Non-party candidates have until mid-summer.
Nomination papers for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates were distributed this week to town clerks and Janice O’Connell, clerk of the assembly, and we already have two confirmed candidates for the county’s legislative body.
One of them is Falmouth’s Andrew V. Putnam, and the other is Ronald R. Beaty Jr. – the same Ron Beaty who was running for county commissioner…and I say “was” because none of the town clerks I spoke received his nomination papers by the Tuesday deadline.
This effectively ends Mr. Beaty’s plan to run dual races for county commissioner and the assembly. Earlier this year Mr. Beaty sought an opinion from the office of the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth – Elections Division and was informed that he could legally could hold both seats, as long as he exercised due diligence to avoid voting on issues as a member of one board that directly impacted the other (e.g., he could not as a county commissioner vote to raise the stipend delegates receive).
Now, however, it looks like he’ll be running only for the assembly. “After carefully reevaluating the political ramifications of my non-party candidacy for Barnstable County Commissioner, I have finally decided to formally withdraw myself as an Independent Candidate,” he wrote in an e-mail, “and to throw my complete support to Eric Steinhilber and his candidacy.”
He is dedicating himself to his assembly run, and said his “various positions on the respective issues currently related to county government will now be vigorously pursued via that potent avenue!”
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.