NEW BEDFORD — Residents have had the opportunity to obtain nominations papers to run for office this fall for more than a month. One name not on the list of about 40 looking to run for office is Mayor Jon Mitchell, which isn’t all that surprising.
Mitchell has been re-elected by the people of New Bedford twice. Each time he didn’t announce his intent to seek re-election until at least the end of July.
“If you’re out there campaigning, that means you're spending less time doing the job,” Mitchell said. “I ran for a specific purpose and that was to perform the job of mayor as best as I could and to get things done in the process. The less time that I have to spend on the job means that the things I’d like to see accomplished, that we’d all like to see accomplished, they don’t move as quickly as they should.”
In 2013, Mitchell announced he’d seek re-election on July 31. In 2015, he announced his decision to run on Aug. 11.
If the mayor plans to seek a fourth term, another late summer announcement should be expected. Candidates have until Aug. 15 to request nomination papers and return them to the clerk's office by 5 p.m.
“It’s just not something I’ve been focusing on,” Mitchell said.
Five residents have taken out nomination papers to run for mayor: Mike Janson, Charlie Perry Jr., David Pimentel, Mitchell Garner and Michael J. Proule. None has major political experience within the city.
Ward 5 Councilor Kerry Winterson told The Standard-Times he’s “strongly considering” running for mayor. He said he’ll have definite decision in about a month.
Regardless of his mayoral ambitions, the 34-year veteran worker on the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge said he will not seek re-election to the City Council.
Ward 5 is one of three spots that are open on the City Council. Steven Martins, who holds the Ward 2 seat, announced he’s running for City Assessor. Jim Oliveira of Ward 1 said he will not seek re-election.
Follow Michael Bonner on Twitter @MikeBBonnerSCT.