SPRINGFIELD—In the waning weeks of the preliminary campaign here, candidates for the five at-large City Council seats face a big challenge: standing out. Two Council retirements and a competitive mayoral race has yielded a historic 20 candidates for the September 12 at-large preliminary.
The mayoral race in Springfield will not be the only one with a preliminary in 2023. Earlier this month, the city Election Commission certified incumbent at-large Councilor Sean Curran and 2021 runner-up Juan Caraballo for the ballot. They were the 12th and 11th candidates to turn in enough signatures for the at-large race. On September 12, voters will whittle the list down to 10 candidates for the November 7 general election.
Less than a week ago, the Springfield Election Commission flung open its doors to candidates in a year with historic interest, several have already submitted their filings to run. Candidates have until June 6 to turn in signatures but as of this posting nine could not wait that long.
As Springfield hurtles toward its most competitive mayoral election in a generation, it may be easy forget the implications down ballot. Not since 1991 have two sitting city councilors given up their seats to run for mayor.