One Out: Sullivan Forgoes Rep. Race; Prefers Future Mayoral Bid

Brian Dempsey

Outgoing Haverhill Rep. Brian S. Dempsey.

Haverhill City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan has ruled out a run for the soon-to-be-vacant Third Essex state representative seat, setting his sights instead on a future mayoral bid.

Sullivan said while his 20 years of legislative experience would have helped him “hit the ground running,” he prefers to focus on matters closer to home.

“There are so many local projects and issues that are important to the citizens of Haverhill that I am working hard to make happen here in the city,” Sullivan said in a statement. “That is why I will run for re-election to the Haverhill City Council and hope to continue to accomplish many great things for the citizens of Haverhill in that capacity.”

While backing out of the race to replace Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, who plans to resign in September, Sullivan is the first to openly express a desire to seek the mayor’s job down the road.

“I am keeping my options open for a possible future mayoral run. I know the combination of my 25 plus years of state and local government experience, along with my law degree and master’s in Public Administration from Suffolk University, would serve me well in the corner office.”

Sullivan previously worked as an aide to former state Rep. Frank Emilio and former Sen. James P. Jajuga,

The announcement came on the same day Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s office informed the Haverhill City Clerk’s office that primary elections must take place between the city’s preliminary and final municipal elections. As WHAV reported Thursday, the Democratic and Republican party primary elections are set for Tuesday, Oct. 10. The city will incur the cost of only one separate election since Galvin’s office said the two final elections may take place Tuesday, Nov. 7.

School Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti was the first to formally declare he will run for the seat, while first-term Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas also took out nomination papers when they became available Thursday. School Committee members Scott W. Wood and Shaun P. Toohey are also on record indicating they are exploring bids. Toohey told WHAV Thursday night he is “very close” to deciding.

Sullivan said he wishes the best for those who do run. “It will be a hard-fought race to the finish for certain,” he said, adding “Most importantly, I want to thank my good friend Brian Dempsey for his outstanding service and commitment to Haverhill over the past 26 years.”

7 thoughts on “One Out: Sullivan Forgoes Rep. Race; Prefers Future Mayoral Bid

  1. 25 years of being a career hack liberal politician does not equate to success.

    Are you saying you’re responsible for the direction the City of Haverhill has taken during the last 25 years, Tom? Haverhill is essentially financially bankrupt, crime is out of control, city and state elected officials embrace sanctuary city policies, drugs are literally everywhere, school performance is down, the amount of people on welfare and state aid has exploded, private businesses are moving elsewhere, and all this while city taxes have doubled. This is your resume?

    C’mon already with the “I am keeping my options open for a possible future mayoral run…”
    If you were serious you’d be doing it, not talking about it. Save us the self-serving melodrama of how important you think you are to the city.