What promises to be a hotly contested election season in the city of Havre de Grace got off to a fast start this week as five candidates filed on the first day for the three city council seats on this year’s ballot. A sixth candidate filed Thursday afternoon.
The filing period opened Tuesday and will run until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. This year’s city election is Tuesday, May 8.
First day filers were Jim Ringsaker, Carolyn Zinner, Nicholas DiPasquale, Kirk Smith and incumbent council member David Glenn, according to Shyla Scott, executive assistant in the Office of the Mayor.
Annie McLhinney-Cochran filed Thursday afternoon, acccording to Scott.
Other than Glenn, none of the other five has run previously for a city office.
The city elections are non-partisan, and voters can cast ballots for up to three candidates. Council members serve two-year terms and are paid $5,200 annually.
In addition to Glenn, who has served three terms, the terms of incumbent council members Michael Hitchings and Casi Tomarchio also are up this year.
Hitchings joined the council in 2015, filling a seat that became vacant when then-councilman and now Mayor William T. Martin stepped down after being elected mayor. Martin in turn appointed Hitchings to the council. Hitchings went on to win a full term in 2016.
Tomarchio joined the council in November after Martin appointed her to the seat left vacant when Stephen Gamatoria resigned to become the mayor’s chief of staff.
Neither Hitchings nor Tomarchio had filed as of Thursday morning.
Scott said the burst of candidates filing the first few days is a good indication that there will be several candidates this year.
Qualified candidates running for City Council can file a Notice of Candidacy with the Director of Administration at City Hall, 711 Pennington Ave., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
A candidate must be at least 25 years old; a citizen of the United States for at least 10 years preceding the election; a qualified city voter at the time of filing; and a resident of Havre de Grace for at least two years preceding the election date. There is a $50 filing fee, according to the city’s website.
Havre de Grace holds a city election each May. The mayor’s office and the council seats of current members Monica Worrell, David Martin and Jason Robertson will be on the May 2019 ballot.
This year’s council winners will be sworn in for their terms on Monday, May 21.