It is already March, the third month in an election year, and there is little to no activity going on in the New Bedford political world to note.

In politics, things can change in an instant, but it appears there will be no major contests for the elected seats in the city government.

Maybe there is no reason to change.

There are major issues to debate, but nobody is stepping forward.

Two major local issues, education and recreational marijuana, are important to the future of the city and they have a national appeal as well. But so far there are no champions or anti-champions who want to carry the issue as a challenge to the political establishment.

And maybe this is good for the city.

As the city battles the state to slow the rise of charter schools, maybe the last element needed is a heated political campaign over the details. With the exception of Mayor Mitchell and Ward 3 City Councilor Hugh Dunn, the political leadership in the city has been quiet about this landmark change in the charter school education system.

Maybe the zoning regulations around recreational marijuana aren't exciting enough for a political campaign in the city. Until the zoning is changed in New Bedford, there will likely never be a dispensary for recreational marijuana. There also may not be enough pro-pot votes in the city for someone to get elected on that issue.

There is still time for challenger candidates, but every day they stay away from the ballot is another day they have lost. And there are worse things than sleepy elections—look at Fall River.

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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