Erbrick set to serve four more years
By CHUCK BALLARO
Rana Erbrick was all set for a second run at the District 5 city council seat. She set up an account, selected a campaign manager and qualified to run last week.
She then waited for an opponent and waited and waited.
Nobody put their hat in the ring to run against her by the noon Friday deadline, thus making Erbrick the first council member since terms were expanded to four years to go unopposed, earning her a second term.
Erbrick called the circumstances a pleasant surprise, adding that she never really heard about prospective candidates, either.
“You usually hear about who’s coming out in all the other districts, but then it was ‘Who’s coming out in District 5?'” Erbrick said. “Someone usually hears something. This is the biggest small town you’ll live in. When nobody filed, I was like ‘Wow.'”
Erbrick said she did everything a candidate would do to get ready for a campaign.
“We had a website, Facebook content, literature. We had the signs. I was just waiting for a candidate before releasing anything,” Erbrick said. “People were asking if they should send their money now and I said wait until there’s a candidate and if there will be a primary.”
Erbrick will get to sit back, watch what happens in November and, most important, be a member of council.
“I can spend more time doing the actual work as opposed to campaigning. It’s something I’m thankful and grateful for,” Erbrick said.
Candidates running unopposed have only happened 12 times in the city’s history, nearly all of which happened during the city’s infancy. Before Erbrick, the last time it happened was when then-mayor Joe Mazurkewicz ran in 1985.
Mazurkewicz said the feat could serve as a referendum on the way she has helped run the city the past four years, adding that it’s almost impossible for candidates to lurk in the weeds.
“She’s gained the respect of the community and people thought that she would be tough to beat,” Mazurkewicz said. “With the city being so big and the ability to run a campaign, you have to start early and get out and about so people know you and where you’re coming from.”
Erbrick is the second woman to go unopposed. Alice Ballard was the other in 1974.
Both Mazurkewicz and Ballard were elected when terms were for two years.
Beside Erbrick, the field is set for the races in districts 2, 3 and 7, all of which will require primaries to decide who will run in November. In District 2, incumbent John Carioscia will face Michael Bogliole, Kirk Lagrasta and Richard Repasky.
In District 3, where incumbent Lenny Nesta will not seek another term, Chris Cammarota, Jerome Doviak and Marilyn Stout will battle for his seat.
Nesta said after serving 36 years for the city, it was time for him to spend time with the family.
“I did due diligence for the city as a firefighter and councilman, but family comes first and it seemed to be coming second,” Nesta said. “My daughter is starting high school and I want to be there for them.”
Nesta said he hopes the person who takes over is a team player.
“I wish them the best and I hope they show what they can do for the city to keep the momentum of the city forward,” Nesta said. “I’ve learned you’re part of a team. No one individual can do it on their own.”
In District 7, where Councilmember Derrick Donnell has termed out, Timothy Barrier, Jessica Cosden and Samuel Fisher will run.
Donnell was on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
City elections are non-partisan and council memebrs are elected citywide, meaning voters registed in teh city can vote in all races regardless of party affiliation or the district in which they live.
The primary is Sept. 15. The General Election is Nov. 3.