The political scene in New Bedford continues to change and the number of candidates continues to expand. This is going to be an exciting election year.

The retirement of longtime city councilor Deb Coelho has created an opportunity for change. There will be a new councilor after the 2021 election is decided. Anyone who has ever considered running for office in the Whaling City is looking at this opportunity because it is so rare.

Jason Mello has recently established a campaign with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to run for an at-large seat on the council. He has also become active on social media promoting his campaign and now he is in a position to raise important financial resources for his citywide effort. Mello is well known and well-liked in the city he wants to help govern.

Mello joins a growing field of candidates.

At this time it is believed that Councilors Ian Abreu, Brian Gomes, Linda Morad, and Naomi Carney will be running for re-election. History tells us it is likely that all four will be re-elected.

Lisa White, a real estate investor and an evangelist for homeownership, has made clear indications she will run and recently contributed $1,000 to her campaign account. Matthew Keefer has also opened an account with OCPF to run for the city council. A notable donor to Keefer's campaign is Erica Scott-Pacheco; she ran to be the mayor of Fall River the last cycle.

Another past candidate with an open campaign account is Paul Chasse, who came in sixth place in 2019. It is unclear if Chasse, a well-respected member of the real estate community, will take another shot at the council even if this is the best opportunity he has had so far.

Other notable mentions include SEIU labor organizer Lisa Lemieux and former Ward 2 City Councilor Steve Martins.

Stay tuned.

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.

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