Saturday, July 20, 2024

City Council challengers Tom Stohlman and Charles Marquardt listen to a question at a candidates forum. While they represent different political parties, they are appearing at each others’ political events. (Photo: Marc Levy)

With a series of formal campaign kickoffs — five so far this month, including School Committee members Nancy Tauber (Sept. 4) and Alice Turkel (Sunday) and City Council candidates Minka vanBeuzekom (Sept. 6), Sam Seidel (Sept. 8) and Leland Cheung (Thursday) — election season is racing to Nov. 8 voting.

While the next full candidates forum for council candidates is Sept. 27, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second St., East Cambridge, candidates continue to meet with constituents as they can.

Interestingly, Charles Marquardt (longtime Republican of East Cambridge) invited fellow council challenger Tom Stohlman (longtime Democrat of West Cambridge) to his own recent meet-the-candidate coffee-and-desserts event near Porter Square.

At most campaign venues, each candidate wants to stand out and deliver their message alone, the Stohlman campaign noted, and at a typical coffee, you have the whole crowd to yourself, but “both believe in running a citywide campaigns and both want to show voters how they interact with a rival (and potential colleague) sharing the room.”

“Candidates rarely have the opportunity to appear together before the voters,” Stohlman said. “I thought this was a great idea.”

The hour and a half was spent disagreeing as well as agreeing, they said, but both called the format a success. Stohlman vowed to invite Marquardt to an event of his, and Marquardt said the hostess got several e-mails thanking her “especially for inviting more than one candidate. Attendees found the interactions between Tom and me to be more informative than you get from attending a candidates’ forum or single-candidate coffee.”

On the School Committee front, Marc McGovern’s re-election campaign has announced a formal endorsement from the city’s Ward 3 Democratic Committee, covering parts of Central and Inman squares, Area IV and the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood. “Marc was the only School Committee candidate to receive this endorsement,” a press release said.

“I am honored … It is always encouraging and humbling when others show their support for the work and commitment that I have to the Cambridge Public Schools,” said McGovern, a three-term committee member and two-time vice chairman.

Donna Barry, chairwoman of the committee, cited his “commitment to early childhood education and budget accountability and transparency as well as his extensive experience.”

This post quoted significant amounts of material from press releases.