All candidates on the ballot of yesterday’s preliminary election for Medford City Council will advance to the general election, with the exception of last-place finisher Andrew P. Castagnetti, who missed the general election ballot by 164 votes, according to the City of Medford’s official results, provided by City Council and Community Relations Liaison Lauren Feltch.
Last night, the 15-candidate city council race was winnowed down to 14, the maximum number of candidates which can be on a general election ballot. These 14 will compete for seven seats on the city council.
The winning candidates, in order of most to least votes, are: John C. Falco Jr., Michael J. Marks, Briana Lungo-Koehn, George A. Scarpelli, Richard F. Caraviello, Adam Knight, Ann Marie Cugno, Frederick N. Dello Russo Jr., Natalie Breen, George Sacco, Curtis Tuden, Cheryl A. Rodriguez, Remo G. Scarfo and Robert L. Cappucci Jr.
9.78 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the preliminary election.
All seven current members of council are at the end of their two-year terms and all seven are running for re-election. These incumbents filled up the top six finishers and councilman Frederick N. Dello Russo Jr. placed eighth.
While Medford is no stranger to having elections full of fresh faces — the 2015 preliminary election featured 16 candidates running again for 14 general election ballot spots — challenger candidate Curtis Tuden noted that many people were inspired to run for city council because they want to see a new direction for Medford.
“I think tonight’s preliminary results show there’s an open competition for the seven spots,” Tuden said. “[Challengers] definitely have a great shot. It’s part of addressing politics in Medford as a cultural change.”
Tuden said he was particularly mobilized by what he saw as a lack of council leadership around issues related to the environment and clean energy. Tuden is the current chair of Medford Energy & Environment Committee.
He also noted that he feels people were motivated to run after Stephanie Burke was elected mayor; when Burke was elected in 2015, she was the first new mayor in 28 years, ending Michael McGlynn’s nearly 30 year reign, according to the Medford Patch.
“Medford made a choice for a new mayor with Stephanie Burke. The culture change could now spread down to the city council,” Tuden said. “There are new voices in the city that are inspired by the new mayor and it’s a new political landscape.”
Burke is facing her own election this year, running for another term against challenger David McKillop Sr., according to a Sept. 11 Medford Transcript article.
Despite Tuden’s calls for change, council president and incumbent Richard Caraviello said that this council has been one of the most productive ever.
“With the work of the current Council and administration we are moving in a positive direction,” Caraviello said. “Though change does not happen overnight.”
Caraviello said he was most proud of bringing the Library Commission to Medford, such that the city was awarded a $13 million grant to build a new facility. He hopes to work to preserve Lawrence Memorial Hospital and revitalize Medford Square if re-elected to another term.
The Medford general election will be on Nov. 7.