Candidate lineups begin to shape up

Freshman state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) appears likely to face opposition this year, with Democrat Hassan Williams making it onto the ballot. Another Democrat, Don C. Dingle, has submitted signatures as part a challenge to state Sen. Jack Hart (D - South Boston) according to the City Elections Department.

Those who pulled nomination papers earlier this year had to submit them for certification this week if they want to get onto election ballots. The papers must then be submitted to the Secretary of State’s election division by May 25. House candidates need to gather 150 signatures; the number is 300 for Senate candidates.

Boston election department officials were still compiling a list of who had turned in their signatures as the Reporter went to press, though some in several local races already had their signatures certified, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

The state primaries are Sept. 14 and the general election is Nov. 2.

State Rep. Marty Walsh (D-Savin Hill) appears unlikely to face opposition this year, but one thing’s for sure: Perennial candidate Althea Garrison will be on the ballot, running as a Democrat in the Fifth Suffolk race.

The retirement of state Rep. Marie St. Fleur (D-Uphams Corner) prompted a number of people to pull nomination papers, including Boston schoolteacher Barry Lawton, who has made two attempts at winning the seat, and Carlos Henriquez, a neighborhood activist who has launched unsuccessful runs against City Councillor Chuck Turner.

Other possible candidates, provided they get their nomination signatures in, include unenrolled individuals Steve Wise and John Baker, and Democrat Roy Owens, another perennial candidate. Sean Malloy, a Republican, has also pulled papers.

So far two candidates are on the ballot in the race to replace state Rep. Willie Mae Allen (D-Mattapan) in the Sixth Suffolk district: Darrin Howell, an aide to Turner, and Democrat Divo Monteiro. Candidates who have pulled papers include local activists and Democrats Karen Payne and Russell Holmes, past Democratic candidate Kathy Gabriel, unenrolled candidate LaTasha Cooper and Republican Adam Bisol.

Out of the large field of candidates vying to succeed state Rep. Brian Wallace (D-South Boston) in the Fourth Suffolk district, former Hart aide Nick Collins has made the ballot. Others who’ve expressed interest in the seat include local attorney Michael McGee, a Democrat, Republican Patrick Brennan, Mark McGonagle, the son of a Boston Housing Authority official, and independent candidate Kenneth Ryan.