New Bedford Ward 5 City Councilor Kerry Winterson will not be running for a third term on the council this fall.

Winterson tells WBSM News that he's not seeking re-election because he needs to spend more time with his family, specifically caring for his wife, Rebecca, who is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. They already make twice-yearly trips to Pittsburgh to help combat the effects of the disease.

"We were blessed enough that in 2008, she received a double lung transplant, and they give you 7-10 years with the new lungs," Winterson said. "And we may be coming to need it again sometime down in the future."

Winterson said his father is also ailing, and that he wants to help take the burden off his mother, whom he calls the "rock" of the family.

"It's time for me to assist in these issues that are going on with my family, and it's time to be there," he said. "There just isn't enough time in regards to me working a full-time job and being a Councilor."

In addition to the health issues of his wife and father, Winterson said he's missed much of the accomplishments and events of his children, and hopes to spend more time with them as well.

He does plan on remaining involved with New Bedford, however--just in a less time-consuming capacity. He said one of the things he'd like to do is go to New Bedford High and Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech and speak with students about drug and sexual abuse, things he's said he's battled in the past and has overcome.

"Life is full of chapters. This is a chapter, and I've done other chapters in my life," Winterson said. "This is a chapter. We're going to close this book but open up a new one, continue to move forward, and keep giving."


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