Town Meeting Day: Who’s running for Burlington City Council?

In just over a month, Burlingtonians will once again head to the polls on Town Meeting Day to decide who should represent them on the city council for the next two years.

Fifteen candidates − mostly Democratic or Progressive-endorsed contenders − are vying for eight open ward positions in the March 5 elections. Terms last two years.

This year, voters will also select their next mayor, who will almost certainly be the city’s first woman in the role. Frontrunners include longtime Democratic City Councilor Joan Shannon and Progressive Vermont state Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, but lesser-known Independent candidates William Emmons and Christopher Haessly are also on the mayoral ballot.

Now that the deadline to file to run for local office has passed, who are these aspiring Burlington city councilors?

A sign on Pine Street in front of Burlington Electric Department in Burlington identifies a polling station on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

A sign on Pine Street in front of Burlington Electric Department in Burlington identifies a polling station on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Town Meeting Day: City council candidates

Voters can expect to see at least four fresh faces on the City Council this year. Progressives Zoraya Hightower of Ward 1 and Joe Magee of Ward 3, as well as independent Ali Dieng of Ward 7, announced last year that they would not seek re-election. Ward 6 incumbent and City Council President Karen Paul, who lost the Democratic nomination for mayor, also chose to not seek re-election.

Here are the ward-by-ward breakdowns:

Ward 1: Working Families candidate Carter Neubieser, a member of his ward’s Neighbor Planning Assembly (NPA) Steering Committee, has replaced Hightower as the Progressive Party’s favored contender. He faces Democrat Geoff Hand, a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington.

Ward 2: Incumbent Gene Bergman, a Progressive, is running unopposed.

Ward 3: Environmental activist Joe Kane, the Progressive candidate replacing Magee, will face off against Burlington Republican Party Chairman Christopher-Aaron Felker. Democrat Malik Mines, who works as educator preparation programs support at the University of Vermont, initially expressed intent to run but did not submit an application by the deadline.

Ward 4: Incumbent Sarah Carpenter, a Democrat, faces Progressive-backed community organizer Dan Castrigano.

Ward 5: Incumbent Ben Traverse, a Democrat, NPA steering committee member Lena Greenberg, who is an Independent, are on the ballot.

Ward 6: Democrat Becca Brown McKnight is taking over for Paul as the Democratic candidate to run against Progressive candidate Will Anderson, an alternate board commissioner for the Green Mountain Transit.

Ward 7: Vying for Dieng’s position are Democrat Evan Litwin, the communications and marketing director for Burlington’s substance misuse prevention coalition, and Progressive Lee Morrigan, the vice chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Ward 8: Incumbent Hannah King is matched up against Progressive candidate Marek Broderick.

Megan Stewart is a government accountability reporter for the Burlington Free Press. Contact her at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Town Meeting Day: Burlington City Council, mayor candidates

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