All state political aspirants must officially throw their hats into the ring by today if they want their names on the primary or general election ballots next fall.
Candidates running for state-wide offices, including senator, governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general must file petitions with the sufficient number of valid signatures to city and town officials by 5 p.m. today. Those running for local positions like state senator or representative had to meet a filling deadline for last week.
Aides to the three gubernatorial candidates in each party all said they have the 10,000 necessary signatures, though Republican John W. Sears '52 is uncertain of an exact count. Saugus businessman Francis P. Rich is running as an independent and needs 40,000 signatures. Last night he said he was still waiting for returns from the western part of the state, adding that the search would "go down to the wire."
The campaign manager to Rep. Leon J. Lombardi, the only Republican candidate, was quoted last week saying that despite receiving the endorsement of the party's non-binding convention. Lombardi may not get enough signatures.
Yesterday, Mary Lee King said that while they still are not sure of 10,000 valid signatures, "things have improved a great deal."
After the petitions are validated by the city and town officials, the candidates must submit them to the state election commission by June 1.
The deadline for candidates running for Cambridge's three state representative seats and two state senate slots passed last Tuesday, leaving Rep. Charles Flaherty and Rep. Saundra Graham, both filed as Democrats, running unopposed. Sen. Michael LoPresti, Jr. '70 faces opposition for the first time since 1974, by William Shakalis, who will go on the ballot as an independent, but is campaigning as a Democratic Socialist.
Four candidates will challenge freshman Sen. George Bachrach in the Democratic primary, and one independent and one Republican will run against the winner of that battle in November.
Rep. Michael J. Lombardi, a 16-year incumbent, will square-off for the second time against insurance officer Peter J. Vellucci for the Democratic nomination