Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cambridge City Hall. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Two incumbents on Cambridge’s City Council declared Thursday that they are running for reelection: Marc McGovern, first elected in 2013 and now seeking his sixth term in office; and Burhan Azeem, elected in 2019 and running for a second term.

There are nine council seats, all at-large and on two-year terms, that will be decided at the polls Nov. 7.

Paul Toner, a first-termer like Azeem, declared quietly May 10 on Facebook that he is running for reelection, making for three definites among incumbents, two opting out – Dennis Carlone on June 14 and vice mayor Alanna Mallon on June 1 – and three who have neither made announcements or updated their websites or social media to declare: Patty Nolan, E. Denise Simmons and Quinton Zondervan. Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui has updated her website’s events page to remind residents to vote for her Nov. 7.

There are so far two official challengers to take the emptying seats: Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, who served on the council 2020-2021, declared June 9. Joe McGuirk, who ran unsuccessfully in 2021, says he will run again.

There have been murmurings from at least six others in the community, including five who have filed with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

One of those five is School Committee members Ayesha Wilson, first elected to that body in 2019 and now looking at moving to the council. With the departure of committee member Fred Fantini, the committee will need at least two new faces.

“Fortune magazine recently listed Cambridge as the No. 1 best city in the country to raise a family. Our city is renowned for being a vibrant, diverse, walkable community, with fabulous culture and a strong economy. Despite these advantages, not everyone here is thriving. Property prices continue to soar, homelessness has increased, some of our neighbors struggle to put food on their table, and far too many of our students don’t realize their full potential in our schools. That’s why I’m running for another term,” McGovern said in a Thursday email.

Azeem, beating McGovern by about an hour, declared for reelection by email to say he was holding a reelection kickoff party July 13 at Middlesex – the same club that hosted the kickoff party for School Committee challenger Eugenia Schraa.

“It’s been an amazing term – we’ve achieved so much and I want to go back to finish the work,” Azeem said.