Election Season Early Filers

by Chris Wangler
April 26, 2023

Waltham residents can pull papers starting on May 3 to declare their intentions to run in the fall civic election.

With a mayoral race certain to boost turnout, some early filers have already organized committees and notified state campaign finance officials of their plans.


In early March, Ward 9 city councilor Jonathan Paz made a splash by announcing his bid to run for mayor against longtime incumbent Jeannette McCarthy.

First elected to the council in 2019, Paz is a policy advocate for the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition in Boston.

He didn’t hold back when he kicked off his mayoral campaign.

“The McCarthy administration is beholden to special interests, threatens our food pantries and community farms and drastically underfunds our schools,” Paz said. “The mayor sold out Waltham to Boston developers, making it unaffordable.”

“As city councilor, I led the fight for stable rents, affordable homeownership and a modernized transit system,” he added. 

Paz’s surprising announcement kickstarted the election season, but the South Side councilor faces an uphill climb against a popular mayor seeking an unprecedented sixth term.

At Large

Waltham has six councilors at large who represent the entire city. 

Recently retired Waltham Police detective sergeant Tim King wants to be one of them.

King is a husband, father of three and former youth sports coach. He is also a police union attorney who advocates for officers across the state.

He said he grew up in Waltham, worked in the city his whole life and looks forward to meeting residents to share his vision for the future. 

“This election is not about me, it is about this great city and the people who live here,” King said.


Some residents in Waltham’s nine wards are also primed to run. Ward campaigns are easier to conduct, but running against incumbents is difficult, especially for first-time candidates.

In Ward 4 near the Watertown line, Bentley grad, homeowner and husband John Tracy intends to challenge multi-term incumbent John McLaughlin.

In Waltham for more than 20 years, Tracy is a professional strategy and operations consultant and Waltham Lion. He has volunteered for various local non-profits, including those that address food insecurity.

Among his goals is more transparency.

“I believe if someone is going to call for change, then that person has to be willing to be part of it,” the first-time candidate said. “I'm excited to see what Waltham can be, and I'm hopeful I'll be able to do my part to get us there.” 

Meanwhile, over in Ward 9 on the South Side around Moody Street, councilor Jonathan Paz’s decision to run for mayor means his seat will be up for grabs.

The longtime councilor he upset in 2019, Robert Logan, declared his intentions to run this week.

“My main motivation is to represent the people of Ward 9 at City Hall and provide them with exceptional constituent services,” he said.

Logan is a parent and husband with deep Waltham ties who works for the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance.

Two newer Ward 9 residents also notified state campaign finance officials of their intentions, but have not made decisions yet. 

Meanwhile, two candidates in Ward 3 in North Waltham along Trapelo Road intend to challenge longtime councilor George Darcy.

Paul Tracey is a longtime Waltham Police officer, husband and father of two who made a strong showing against Darcy in 2019, losing by roughly 250 votes. 

Tracey said he had outstanding working knowledge of the ward, is committed to the community and wants to stand up to development happening in Lexington right on the Waltham line.

Another Ward 3 resident with deep Waltham ties, Bill Hanley, also plans to run. 

In 2019, when he lived in Ward 2, Hanley emerged from a primary election but was narrowly defeated in the general election by another first-time candidate, Caren Dunn.

A healthcare administrator who serves on the Waltham Board of Health, Hanley moved with his wife and kids and is now running in his new ward. 

“Protecting and maintaining our vast and valuable open spaces, maintaining our enviable tax rates and getting ahead of issues that infringe on our homes and way of life are the pillars of my campaign,” he said.

Getting on the Ballot

Candidates who pull papers have until June 30 to submit signatures and nomination paperwork to the city clerk’s office. 

If they do so successfully, they will be on the ballot for the election on November 7. 

If there are multiple candidates for one seat, a preliminary election might be needed to narrow down the field.

File photos