Five Things to Know for Newton’s Preliminary Election

Newton will hold a preliminary election on Sept. 12 for Ward 2 and Ward 6 City Council seats, which each have three candidates running.

In each of those races, the two candidates with the most votes will proceed to the general election in November.

Here’s the rundown on voting in the preliminary election:

1. Who’s on the ballot

In Ward 2, the candidates (with links to profile stories The Newton Beacon has published about them) are:

  • Peter Bruce, California native who’s lived in Newton for almost three decades, former professor at College of the Holy Cross, former president of the Newtonville Area Council.
  • Dan Gaynor, founder of a data analytic startup who has a background in national security and whose father served as alderman in the 1980s.
  • David Micley, fifth-generation Newtonian, business development director for a digital asset startup who’s worked in Israel and served as a Brookline Town Meeting member.

In Ward 6, the candidates are:

  • Martha Bixby, California native and human rights activist who moved to Newton six years ago and has been active in multiple local volunteer efforts, including a local food pantry.
  • Lisa Gordon, director of Action Food Pantry who co-founded Friends of Newton Centre and wants to improve road safety and stormwater infrastructure.
  • Mark Holt, real estate broker, former New Hampshire state legislator and cancer survivor who’s calling for the city’s re-zoning plan to be stopped.
Sample ballot images for Newton’s two preliminary races, one for a Ward 2 City Council seat and the other for a Ward 6 City Council seat.

2. Debate

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, voters will get a chance to hear from the candidates on an array of issues impacting Newton when the Area Councils hosts a candidates’ debate at the Allen Center at 7 p.m.

The debate, moderated by former WCVB editorial director Marjorie Arons-Barron, will be streamed online for those who can’t attend or prefer to watch from home. Ward 2 candidates will have their debate at 7 p.m., and Ward 6 candidates will have theirs at 8 p.m.

Arons-Barron also serves on the Newton Beacon’s Editorial Advisory Council.

3. Where to vote on Election Day

It would be impossible to list all of Newton’s household address and corresponding polling places here, but Newton’s city website has a complete map of the city’s wards and precincts as well as a page where residents can enter their address and find their exact polling place for Election Day.

4. Early voting

Voters who don’t want to wait until Election Day to cast their ballot can vote early at the clerk’s office at City Hall.

Early voting days and hours are:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 5, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 6, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5. Registration status

Of course, all of the above is moot for anyone who’s not registered to vote. And it’s possible to have been removed from voter rolls due to years of inactivity. So it’s a good idea to check voter status is up-to-date, which residents can do on the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website.