Three vacancies expected on Norwich City Council

Norwich - There will be three pending vacancies on the City Council when the Democratic and Republican party caucuses convene in the coming weeks, with two incumbent Democrats running for mayor and two-term Alderman H. Tucker Braddock announcing he will not seek re-election.

Braddock, the retired former owner of A.P. Savage Supply hardware store in Greeneville, said he will leave the council after completing his second term in November.

"It's time for new people to step forward," he said.

Three other council incumbents, Democrats Mark Bettencourt and Francois "Pete" Desaulniers, the council president pro tempore, and Republican Sofee Noblick all said this week they plan to seek endorsement from their parties for re-election.

Democrats Deberey Hinchey and Charles Jaskiewicz are running for mayor, and Republican Mayor Peter Nystrom also has announced he will seek re-election.

Norwich currently has 7,413 registered Democrats, 2,664 Republicans and 9,409 unaffiliated voters. Another 256 people are registered as affiliated with "other" parties.

The Republican Town Committee endorsement caucus will be held at 7 p.m. July 17 at City Hall. With Republicans greatly outnumbered in the city, the GOP traditionally faces difficulties fielding a full slate of candidates for municipal races.

That trend could continue this year, town committee Chairman Raymond Dussault said. The town committee is still seeking candidates for council seats, Dussault said.

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Larry Goldman said in addition to a battle for the mayoral nomination between Hinchey and Jaskiewicz expected to lead to a primary, he has three unannounced candidates interested in seeking council seats, along with the two incumbents. The Democratic Party caucus will be July 22 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

A new twist could be added to the council race this year, as five Libertarian candidates have filed paperwork in the city clerk's office announcing their intention to petition onto the council ballot. Libertarian mayoral candidate William Russell already has petitioned successfully for a spot on the ballot.

Russell filed the petition paperwork on behalf of Ashley Pryski, Kyle DeGray, Michael Holman, Chandler Alfred Jr. and Cynthia Shook. Russell said he hopes to have the petitions filed by next week.

c.bessette@theday.com

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