Now Two Councilors Running for Mayor and the Council—Maybe [OPINION]
Longtime New Bedford City Councilor Brian Gomes has now taken out nomination papers for mayor and for a seat as an at-large councilor. He will have until the close of business on Friday to decide.
Early in the week, City Council President Linda Morad puzzled the local political establishment with her move to take out nomination papers for mayor, Ward One Councilor, and at-large councilor. She is the only candidate in decades, at least the only serious candidate, to take out nomination papers for three offices that appear on the same ballot.
By comparison, Councilor Gomes' decision to take out papers for mayor and at-large councilor seems tame. Last week it would have seemed bizarre, but today it is the “new normal” of New Bedford politics. Paul Chasse, a local real estate person and previous candidate for Ward Five Councilor, has taken out papers for at-large and Ward Five this year. Michael Janson also took out nomination papers for mayor and at-large; in fact, he pioneered the trend this year, but he made a public decision early in the cycle to run for an at-large seat.
Both Gomes and Morad have successfully run citywide over the years in the elections for at-large councilor. Both have run for mayor, too. Neither was successful when they ran for the corner office, but times and issues change, and both are capable of mounting a serious campaign in 2019.
No matter what choice either councilor makes, they have opened themselves up to legitimate criticism by the public and the media. Surely, both of them know what they are planning on doing this election cycle, and pulling nomination papers for multiple offices seems chaotic.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.