NEW BEDFORD - The New Bedford City Council is tasked with approving dates for a special Ward Three election that will determine who holds that seat until a new member is elected in November and sworn in in 2018. The seat is being vacated by Henry Bousquet.

Election Commissioner Maria Tomasia tells WBSM News, if the dates are confirmed by the Council tonight, anyone looking to run for the Ward Three seat can pick up nomination papers beginning Wednesday, February 1, and return them by February 8 with at least 50 certified signatures. "Even though we try to tell everyone to collect a minimum of 75 (signatures) in case some of those are not certified at those addresses. Because if the person is not at that address, we cannot certify that person," said Tomasia.

If more than two people are verified as eligible candidates by February 22, a preliminary election will be held on March 28, with the top two candidates squaring off in the final election on April 25.

Tomasia says the special election will cost the City $15,000-$17,000.

Tomasia says initially there was a lot of buzz over the soon-to-be-vacant seat. "When it first came out that Mr. Bousquet had resigned, we did get several calls as to questioning when nomination papers were going to be available. However, recently we haven't heard from anyone. That will likely change after the Council approves dates tonight.

Bousquet's resignation from the Council is effective February 1. Until the April 25 election is decided, Ward Three will be without specific council representation for three months with Bousquet's absence.

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