NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — New Bedford Ward 5 City Councilor Scott Lima announced this morning on WBSM’s SouthCoast Now program that he is officially running for a councilor at large seat this fall.

Lima, who has served as the Ward 5 councilor since 2017, told hosts Marcus Ferro and Chris McCarthy that he decided not to run for re-election for his ward seat and instead pursue an at-large seat because he said he is “over the top” about the city’s waterfront and the projects underway there.

“I’m excited about the waterfront and everything that’s happening on the waterfront,” said Lima, who sits on the board of directors for the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. “Ward 5 and Ward 1 do not rest on the waterfront.”

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“Everything that I’m doing now involves the waterfront, and it’s much more than offshore wind, it’s the ocean cluster model,” he said. “That’s kind of what I’ve gravitated toward.”

Lima said that he prided himself most as a ward councilor on his constituent service, and he said that’s something that takes up a lot of time.

“Ward 5 is a very demanding ward, as it should be,” Lima said. “Ward 5 is very, very demanding when it comes to constituent services. If I want to put more of my focus on the waterfront…I just can’t do all of the constituent service I did before and be involved with the Ocean Cluster.”

He said that he believes constituent services should be handled first and foremost by the ward councilor, and with that in mind, he chose not to run for the Ward 5 seat again, for which he won re-election in 2019 and 2021.

“Instead of being involved as much as I was, it was better to step aside,” he said. “There’s nothing else to it.”

However, in order to be elected to an at-large seat, Lima will have to garner more votes than one of his five current colleagues: freshman councilor Shane Burgo, veteran councilors Ian Abreu, Naomi Carney or Brian Gomes, or current city council president Linda Morad. The at-large seats go to the top five vote-getters in the election running for them.

Lima has already endorsed former Ward 6 Councilor Joe Lopes in the Ward 5 race. Lopes, who was defeated by current Ward 6 Councilor Ryan Pereira in 2021, moved into Ward 5 in the interim.

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