Sullivan Launches Council Re-Election Campaign; Won’t Count Out Mayoral Bid

City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan was joined at his campaign kickoff party by daughters Ellen and Julie and partner Jonathan Baron at the Garibaldi Club on Feb. 7. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News)

City Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan is ready to run this election season—but not for mayor of Haverhill. At least not yet. “Never say never,” he told WHAV at Thursday night’s kickoff for his 2019 City Council re-election campaign at downtown’s Garibaldi Club.

Putting an end to widespread speculation that he’d challenge Mayor James J. Fiorentini on the ballot, Sullivan—in the presence of Fiorentini and former Haverhill mayor John Guerin—argued that the City Council is where he can best get things done.

“As one councilor (of nine), I take pride in the projects that I get done on Council. I also always try to make the best possible decisions on difficult and sometimes controversial issues that come before us,” said Sullivan, no doubt referring to hot-button issues like the city’s plastic bag ban and retail marijuana zoning.

However, more needs to be done as November inches closer, the local policymaker told supporters. Of paramount importance to Sullivan this election year: Public safety and education, for starters.

“Am I the only one in this room tonight that feels like our leaders at the federal level of government have failed in their responsibility to assist cities and towns like Haverhill?”  I am all for making America great again, but for God’s sake, say it like you mean it and do something about it that will make a positive difference and benefit to cities like Haverhill.”

Indeed, Sullivan has won the support of Haverhill’s local legislative delegation, including Rep. Linda Dean Campbell and Sen. Diana DiZoglio, who attended Thursday’s bash.

Sullivan is the third candidate to formally announce a bid for City Council. In January, 24-year-old Haverhill native Nicholas Golden threw his hat into the ring, followed shortly thereafter by Douglas Edison. All are vying for one of nine Council spots, with all of the council seats open and available in November.