Since the end of 2020, there has been tremendous speculation that New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell would be leaving for a position in the Biden Administration.

The speculation was reinforced when the mayor confirmed that he has been in contact with the Biden-Harris transition team. In fact, the mayor has twice confirmed it to WBSM talk host Barry Richard on-air.

The process dictates the president of the city council is elevated to acting mayor and then there is a special election. Given the rarity of this situation, it is likely there will be at least a dozen candidates and that will trigger a preliminary election followed by the general between the top two finalists.

The list continues of potential candidates.

Wind energy lobbyist Matt Morrissey has been mentioned as a candidate. He ran in 2005 and lost in the preliminary to Scott Lang and Mayor Fred Kalisz. He went on to run economic development in Lang's administration.

Ward 2 City Councilor Maria Giesta has run for mayor previously. Since being elected to the council she has raised her profile and impressed many across the city. Her experience as a top staffer to former Congressman Barney Frank in Washington D.C. makes her more impressive, given the federal resources necessary for New Bedford to recover from COVID-19.

Ward 3 City Councilor Hugh Dunn should be considered a candidate in this mix of potential candidates. It is well known he considered running in the past, and he has the ability to raise money. His longtime work for Congressman William Keating gives him great insight into the needed federal aid for COVID-19.

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 and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420