The former City Councilor of New Bedford's Ward Two has to make a decision about his future in politics, and his situation is more complicated this year.

It is good to be Steve Martins. It is also complicated, politically anyway, to be Steve Martins in 2019. On the last day possible, the former Ward Two City Councilor submitted nomination papers to the Elections Department to run for one of the five at-large seats on the New Bedford City Council.

He has until the close of business on August 30 to declare his intent to run or to withdraw himself from the race. He stated on publicly Facebook, after turning in his nominations papers, "We have much confusion with many people pulling multiple papers out for different offices and I want to make it clear that I am ready to run and serve if changes are made before August 30th. I will make a decision soon."

Steve Martins has the second-largest campaign war chest in city politics, behind only incumbent Mayor Jon Mitchell. According to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Martins has $37,072 available in cash to spend on his political goals. City Council President Linda Morad has about $28,000 in her campaign account.

Steve is an employee of Massachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg and he earned over $104,000 last year in that job at the state lottery, according to the Boston Herald. Part of the reason Steve is at the lottery is because of his abilities as a political operative for his current boss. Does the politically ambitious Goldberg approve of her employees running for office?

Two years ago, Martins started running for the job of Assessor in the city of New Bedford. He raised lots of money, held campaign meetings with supporters, and even started a paid advertising campaign. However, he ultimately quit the election after the deadline for other candidates to join the race passed and gave incumbent Assessor Marty Treadup a free walk to re-election.

Steve is a smart and personable man. He has a strong cadre of supporters and is likely to get elected at-large if he decides to run. But what happens to his reputation with the voters and his supporters if he withdraws again from a city election?

It is complicated to be Steve Martins in 2019.

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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