The first election for the new four-year term, a doubling of the length of previous terms for the mayor, is missing serious candidates for the job.

With all due respect to the individuals who have taken out nomination papers to run for mayor in New Bedford, there are no serious candidates in the race at this moment.

School Committee member John Oliveira is the only person who has actually previously won an election to take out nomination papers for the four-year term as mayor. Oliveira benefited at the ballot box two years ago from the good reputation of the Oliveira name in city elections due to the hard-working School Committee member Bruce Oliveira.

John Oliveira is currently the odds-on favorite to be the next Mayor of New Bedford if nobody else decides to run for the job. Oliveira is prone to vulgar temper tantrums during School Committee meetings. He has important points to make, but they are overshadowed by his middle finger–literally.

John Oliveira/New Bedford Cable Access Television.
Courtesy New Bedford Cable Access

The four-year term for mayor was sold to the voters as a way to attract better quality candidates for the job. I never felt the city had a deficit in the quality of candidates running for mayor when the job was a two-year term.

Not everyone agrees with all of the positions and initiatives of the current or past mayors. However, all of the city's mayors in the decades I have followed events have been qualified, quality people.

Four years is an eternity in politics. Are the people of New Bedford ready for this version of eternity?

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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