NEW BEDFORD - With several elected officials in New Bedford having already announced they will not be seeking re-election, it's sure to be a lively election season in the city.

Nomination papers for Mayor, School Committee, City Council, and Assessor-At-Large are available in the Election Office at City Hall beginning Monday.

Ward One City Councillor Jim Oliveira and Ward Five City Councillor Kerry Winterson have stated they will not run for their respective seats this year, with Ward Two City Councillor Steven Martins considering a run for Assessor.

Retired Election Commissioner Maria Tomasia is helping out during the election cycle, and tells WBSM News she expects to see some new faces this season. "You're going to have a lot of new people that are going to be interested in trying to get into politics. And I think that's a good sign," says Tomasia. "I think it also is a great thing for democracy because people will be able to discuss different issues and different subjects."

As of 9:15 a.m., Tomasia says at least three people have already taken out nomination papers.

Prospective candidates have until August 15 to collect at least 50 certified signatures and return them with their nomination papers in order to be eligible to appear on the ballot for October's preliminary election.

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