Council President Michitson Launches Exploratory Committee for Possible Mayoral Bid

Haverhill City Councilor John A. Michitson. (Courtesy photograph.)

Mayor James J. Fiorentini may have some competition for Haverhill’s corner office, with Council President John A. Michitson considering a possible bid. (Courtesy photograph.)

City Council President John A. Michitson is exploring the possibility of again running for mayor of Haverhill.

An unknown number of residents were recently invited to take part in an exploratory committee to weigh the possibility of a mayoral run. Reached for comment by WHAV this week, Michitson would only say he is “exploring all options for next year.”

Michitson first sought Haverhill’s highest elected office in 2009, running against the man who would become the city’s longest-serving chief, James J. Fiorentini. Michitson lost that race by roughly 2,000 votes. Fiorentini and Michitson have had their disagreements in the past. Michitson was the only councilor who voted against the 2018 fiscal year budget after Fiorentini did not allow for a minimum of six new police officer positions to be added to the budget.

Michitson was first elected as a Haverhill city councilor in 1996, and became council president in 2003–a post typically going to the top vote-getter in the City Council election. He gave up his seat to run for mayor, returning to the Council in 2012.

In his time with the council, he has placed a strong emphasis on long-term planning for everything from housing to education. He has also been a strong advocate for small businesses and technology-based startups. One of the engineer’s latest projects is the upcoming Nov. 16 Haverhill Hackathon, presented in conjunction with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and the office of state Rep. Andy Vargas. As Michitson told WHAV, he believes the contest will encourage tech companies across the Merrimack Valley and beyond to take advantage of what he sees as Haverhill’s advanced manufacturing potential.