The mayor of New Bedford is continuing to signal that he is running for re-election. The latest clue is his year-end campaign finance report.

According to public records reviewed by this writer, the mayor of the Whaling City added over $7,000 to his political campaign fund in the last month of 2018. The latest contributions put the mayor's campaign fund at over $197,000.

Starting out the city election cycle with nearly $200,000 in the bank is a nice place to be for any local official. The winner of the 2019 election for mayor will serve a four-year term rather than the two-year term that was in place for generations. The voters of New Bedford lengthened the term with a ballot question in 2017.

Mayor Mitchell hasn't announced his plans for the future. However, I don't see him as the type of person who would go around raising money just to return it later. The records of Mitchell's campaign spending show him to be a conservative spender of his donor's funds.

Anyone looking at challenging Mayor Mitchell has to first come to grips with the idea that he has tremendous financial resources in place on the first day of 2019. Any serious candidate has to have the ability to raise at least $100,000 to be competitive in the race for the big office in City Hall.

The largest donation in December came from Matthew Morrissey, a former candidate for mayor in 2005. He donated $500 to Mayor Mitchell. He lists his occupation as "Economic Developer" and he is employed by the New Bedford Economic Development Council. His other donors are a mix of business people, elected officials and City employees.

The only candidate who has opened a campaign committee to run for mayor of New Bedford has already closed it out.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.