Saturday, July 20, 2024

Voting records for City Council candidates show, predictably, a lot of passion for elections.

Of the 18 candidates running for nine seats, half have taken every opportunity to cast a vote back through 1997, the year at which the gathered data begin.

Others aren’t far behind, and others appear in Cambridge records dating back only a few years but have voted fairly faithfully since.

Of all the council candidates, the standouts in terms of long-term voting is Jamake Pascual, 34, the Cambridgeport computer consultant and art teacher running for office for the first time. Although he’s been a lifelong resident, Pascual’s voting records in the city date back to November 2006, and he’s voted each November since.

Voting records for Matt Nelson, 31, a community organizer from Area IV and Cambridge native, show he started voting in November 2006. He corrected that Sunday to say he voted twice in 2004, in the primary and general election, and for School Committee candidate Luc Schuster in 2005 while serving as a political consultant for the Friends of Luc Schuster organization. His official biography shows he spent the earliest years of the decade as a student at the University of Arizona and had a stint as state director for Healthcare United Virginia, a project of the Service Employees International Union.

Matching candidate biographies with Election Commission data merged by politics watcher Robert Winters from voter registration files, street listings and voter history files shows other candidates began voting as they arrived in the city. Council incumbent Leland Cheung has taken every opportunity to vote since November 2008, after he moved to the city from California, as has challenger Charles Marquardt.

Marquardt lived in Billerica and Winchester, coming in on weekends and holidays to work at Coady Florist, a family business since 1970. “What I’ve always said is that I may not have lived in Cambridge, but I grew up in Cambridge,” Marquardt said.

He’s now an East Cambridge resident and owns a dry cleaning business in Mid-Cambridge, next to the family florist.

“I’ve only been here five or six years,” he said Friday. “And for one election I wound up being in India. I was traveling and I didn’t get an absentee ballot, and shame on me.”

The candidates with perfect voting records back to 1997 are: city councillors Henrietta Davis, Marjorie Decker, Craig Kelley, David Maher, Ken Reeves, Denise Simmons and Tim Toomey; and challengers Gary Mello and James Williamson.

Those just behind, according to the gathered election data, are:

  • Challenger Gregg Moree, missing a vote in November 1999.
  • Incumbent Sam Seidel, who hasn’t missed a vote since November 1998.
  • Challenger Tom Stohlman, who hasn’t missed a vote since November 1999.
  • Challenger Minka vanBeuzekom, who missed votes in November 2003 and spring of 2004 before voting in that year’s general election. At the time of the missed votes she was vice president for contract management at a New York company.
  • Challenger Larry Ward, who hasn’t missed a vote since November 1998.