The dates for the special election to choose a successor to late Peabody Rep. Joyce Spiliotis have now been set, giving candidates three months to get their campaigns rolling, but only a few short weeks to decide if they're in or out.
Party primaries will be held March 5 while the final special election will be held April 2. Candidates only have until Jan. 22, however, to submit nomination papers and signatures (at least 150) with local election officials.
That paperwork must then be filed with the Secretary of State's office by Jan. 29.
"The House of Representatives has ordered a special state election to be held...to fill the vacancy in the 12th Essex Representative District caused by the untimely death of Representative Joyce A. Spiliotis," Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos announced via email Thursday.
The schedule and dates were set during the inaugural House session on Jan. 2.
The 12th Essex seat that was held by Spiliotis represented wards 1-4 and Precinct 1 and 3 in Ward 5, which means only city voters in those precincts will vote in the upcoming election. The candidates also must reside in that district.
No one has officially announced their candidacy yet for the position, but school committeewoman Beverley Griffin Dunne and city councilor Dave Gravel have both indicated they will likely run while Republican Kosma Evangelidis has said he is considering it.
Dunne is a registered Democrat while Gravel is Unenrolled.
City councilor Tom Gould was also initially interested, but then backed out, telling Peabody Patch the timing wasn't right for his family or his business.
The Eye on Peabody blog is reporting that former city councilor Jim Moutsoulas, a Democrat, says he will run. In recent years, Moutsoulas has made unsuccessful bids for the council again and Mayor.
The deadline to register to vote in the special state primary is Feb. 13. The deadline for the special election is March 13. Hours will be held from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the City Clerk's office.