Primary triggered for Cambridge council seats

For the second time in as many election years since the Cambridge City Council approved a potential primary election for council or mayoral seats back in 2018, City of Cambridge voters will be asked to trim down the number of candidates running for office.

In the 2018 election, a total of four candidates for mayor triggered the city’s first primary election. This year, a whopping seven candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the two council seats up for election in November. A primary is required if more than twice as many candidates as seats open file to run for election. In this case, five candidates were needed for a primary.

The list of names running for the two council seats are a mixture of familiar and not-so-familiar names in local government. Both incumbents - Joe Morin and Lisa Iverson - have filed to run for re-election. Morin was a council member before losing a bid for election as mayor in 2018 in the previous primary. He then was appointed to his current seat to fill the vacancy left by the death of Marlys Palmer.

Mark Ziebarth was a Cambridge council member back in the mid-1990s. Currently, he is the principal at Isanti Intermediate School and the School For All Seasons.

The final candidate with local government experience is David Redfield, who is currently serving on the Cambridge Planning Commission, which he was appointed to back in January.

The other three candidates don’t have an active background in local government. Tom Schibilla did apply to fill Palmer’s vacant seat last November. The other two candidates are Brandy Herbst and Barbara Jean Schumann.

Candidates do have until 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 to withdraw from the race, however three of the seven would have to do so in order to cancel the primary. The top four vote-getters in the primary will go on to the November general election.

Those two seats are the only local ones that will require a primary. All of the other seats that had an early filing period either have candidates running unopposed or are a two-person race. 

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