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Six City Council candidates submit petitions

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In an unexpectedly wide field, six candidates will be vying for two open Watertown City Council seats.

Challengers Jasmine W. Borreggine, Stephen A. Jennings, Cody J. Horbacz and Rodney J. LaFave will face off against incumbents Jeffrey M. Smith and Teresa R. Macaluso in the nonpartisan election.

All six candidates filed their ballot petitions by 5 p.m. Thursday, the deadline set by the Jefferson County Board of Elections. Candidates had to collect 170 signatures each.

“There’s a lot of interest in the city. People want new blood, more involvement,” Democratic Election Commissioner Babette M. Hall said.

Council members are elected citywide. Primaries in the race are held only if five or more candidates submit valid petitions. In a four-candidate race, the top two vote-getters are elected.

A few months ago, there was speculation that only the incumbents would run for office.

Since then, the field has grown steadily, as announcements came sporadically throughout May and into June.

Mr. Horbacz and Mrs. Borreggine were the first to declare their intention to run, compelling Mr. Smith and Mrs. Macaluso to announce their bids for re-election in late May.

Ten days later, Mr. LaFave emerged as the fifth candidate, opening up the possibility of a primary.

Then days after Mr. LaFave’s announcement, Mr. Jennings said he also would run.

The controversial “roommate law” passed by the council earlier this year, a ban on dogs at many city events and a debate over fluoridation of the city’s water supply are credited with generating a greater level of interest in the election.

The primary election will be Sept. 10. The general election will be Nov. 5.

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