Pittsfield preps for Tuesday preliminary

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PITTSFIELD — The city collected 246 absentee ballots by the noon deadline on Monday.

About 100 more people applied for absentee ballots this year than during the city's last preliminary election in 2015, City Clerk Michele Benjamin said.

The voter turnout was 19 percent that year.

"We're hoping for greater turnout than that," she said Monday.

Come Tuesday evening, the four-candidate race for mayor will winnow to two, as will bids for City Council seats in wards 5 and 6. Polls are open citywide from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the top two vote-getters in each field advance to the general election Nov. 5.

"Call if you're unsure where you're going to vote," Benjamin said she wants people to know.

Her staff can be reached at 413-499-9460.

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There are 27,893 Pittsfield residents registered to vote in the Tuesday preliminary, according to a spreadsheet that Benjamin provided. That includes 4,044 in Ward 5 and 3,809 in Ward 6.

The last day to register ahead of the Tuesday preliminary was Aug. 28. Residents wishing to register ahead of the Nov. 5 election have until 8 p.m. Oct. 16.

Benjamin said none of the races triggered a preliminary election in 2017, the year of the last municipal election.

Most of the races are contested this year, except those for city clerk, as well as wards 2 and 3 on the City Council. Three races were contested hotly enough to trigger the preliminary.

Incumbent Mayor Linda Tyer faces three challengers — Scott Graves, Karen Kalinowsky and Melissa Mazzeo.

Those vying for the Ward 5 seat on the City Council are Patrick Kavey, Jonathan Lothrop and Eugene Maselli. They compete to replace outgoing City Councilor Donna Todd Rivers, who this year announced her departure.

And in the city's westernmost ward, the contenders are Edward Carmel, Craig Gaetani, Dina Guiel Lampiasi and Joseph Nichols. Each hopes to fill the void left by outgoing City Councilor John Krol, who this year announced his departure.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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