It often seems like a good idea to run for this or for that, but when push comes to shove–well, maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all. This week we get to find out just who is serious, as Friday is the deadline for submitting nomination papers to get on this fall's municipal preliminary election ballot.

There are a fair number of candidates to draw papers for the various offices on the ballot. Some have even returned their signatures already for certification.

Some races have attracted more attention than others. Five people, including the incumbent Jon Mitchell, drew papers for mayor. I would have expected more, as it is the first election since the mayor's term was extended to four years from the current two. The fact that there are no "big name" challengers to Mitchell, at least so far, may be an indication of the mayor's strength still after four terms. Of course, anything can happen in three days.

One race to pay close attention to is the contest for Ward Four City Council. Incumbent Dana Rebeiro has followed through on her pledge not to seek another term and that has attracted a huge field. Ten potential candidates have taken out papers, including former Councilor Joe Fortes, and Naia Barros, whose mother, Mary, served as Ward Four Councilor some years ago.

We often lament the lack of change, so it is encouraging to see so many citizens express a desire to get involved. Here is hoping that everyone who takes out papers returns them by Friday's deadline and that we have competitive races across the board.

The rest of us must do our part by making sure that we are registered and participate in the upcoming municipal elections.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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