By Joe Murchison

As of July 5, no candidates had filed their election papers to officially enter this fall’s mayoral and city council races, although three people are actively campaigning for mayor. The deadline for filing is July 21.

The Laurel Independent will post the final list of candidates on its website,, by July 25. The four races are for mayor, city council one at-large, and two city council seats each in both Ward 1 and Ward 2 .  The mayor serves a four-year term, while councilmembers serve two-year terms.

Those publicly campaigning for mayor are Laurel City Council President Brencis Smith (Ward 2) and Councilmembers Martin Mitchell (At-Large)  and Keith Sydnor (Ward 2). 

Sara Green, clerk of the city council, said that two people, in addition to the three councilmembers, had taken out candidate filing packets for the mayoral race and could decide to register as candidates up to July 21. Smith, Mitchell and Sydnor have to file their official papers by that date.

Frederick Smalls, a former city councilmember and current Maryland assistant secretary of state for administration and finance, said in May that he was considering running for mayor but has decided not to run. (Green confirmed that Smalls did not pick up a mayoral packet.) Green said that individuals had taken  city council candidate packets for the at-large seat (one packet), the Ward 1 seat (four packets) and the Ward 2 seat (one packet).

One more person picked up a candidate packet but was undecided about which office to run for, Green added.