CUMBERLAND — With two seats becoming available in this year’s election, two new candidates have joined an incumbent in a race to capture a post on Cumberland’s City Council.
The two council seats up for election are currently occupied by Nick Scarpelli and David Kauffman.
Joining Kauffman’s bid for re-election are newcomers Seth Bernard, who filed Jan. 27, and Dustin Freas, who placed his name on the ballot Jan. 29.
Scarpelli has announced his candidacy for delegate of District 1C of the Maryland General Assembly.
Bernard, 27, born and reared in Cumberland, has a 2-year-old daughter and a child on the way. Bernard, an operations specialist at International Business Machines, issued a press release on his candidacy Thursday.
“I want to play a part in making my hometown the best it can be for my children, just as I remember it when I grew up here,” said Bernard, a Democrat.
Freas, 31, graduated from Bishop Walsh School in 2000 and has a daughter. A Republican, Freas is the chief development officer with CareVentures, which is based in the Rehab First building on Baltimore Street.
“For me it’s about Western Maryland. Ever since we lost (Speaker of the House) Cas Taylor, we have been shunned and shut out. Hopefully I can help,” said Freas.
Kauffman is seeking another four-year term on the council.
“I’m excited to see that there is interest from city residents. All of us are going to have to articulate our positions on what we can contribute. I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas,” said Kauffman.
Bernard is a 2005 graduate of Fort Hill High School with a bachelor’s degree in intelligence and national security from Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
“I believe we must make our community more business friendly and offer incentives to encourage further business growth,” said Bernard.
Freas obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in health management administration from Duquesne University.
“It comes down to jobs. We have Allegany College and Frostburg State University pumping out the graduates and there is nowhere for them to work,” said Freas.
Kauffman hopes his record will speak to the voters.
“I’m proud of the role I’ve played in policy-making in my first term. I feel I have contributed and I hope the voters agree,” said Kauffman.
Kauffman said that although the city has made improvements, he knows the term will present new challenges.
“We’ve made headway. But we haven’t fixed the city. You have to constantly gauge and monitor what is needed by the taxpayer,” said Kauffman.
The seat of mayor is also available with current Mayor Brian Grim running unopposed at this point. The primary is scheduled for June 24 and the general election Nov. 4.
The deadline to file for the election is Feb. 25.
Greg Larry can be contacted at email@example.com.