The biannual question of whether former Mayor Scott Lang will challenge current Mayor Jon Mitchell has once again been answered. The question will now have to wait for four years rather than two.

Lang told me Wednesday evening he is not going to challenge Mayor Mitchell for the brand new four-year term as the leader of the city. Nomination papers are due this Friday at the city’s election office to run for a city elected position.

During the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament this year, former Ward Two City Councilor Steve Martins posted a picture of himself with Lang on Facebook and the comment “we flipped a coin…” Both have had discussions with supporters about running for office and both had their names in the conversation of potential challengers to Mayor Mitchell.

Steve Martins/Facebook
Steve Martins/Facebook

Does Lang’s decision mean Steve Martins won the coin toss? Or maybe Lang won the coin toss and opted to use that win to avoid running against Mitchell?

We will know by Friday afternoon if the former Ward Two councilor takes out nomination papers to run for mayor.

As managing partner of his law firm, Lang had to make a decision about how much time he could spend running the city and running his law firm. He has spent decades building his business and it would be illogical and irresponsible to leave the firm and the employees and clients that require his full attention.  One of those clients is the City of New Bedford, as Lang’s firm is representing the City in its legal battle with ABC Disposal over the contract to pick up residential garbage and recycling.

As of now, the major candidates who have taken out nomination papers to run for mayor are City Council President Linda Morad, School Committee member John Oliviera, and Mayor Jon Mitchell. ​

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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