Bevilacqua Says He Will Not Seek Job as Haverhill Mayor; Plans City Council Re-election Campaign

Haverhill City Councilor and Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce President Joseph J. Bevilacqua. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua has ruled out a run for mayor of Haverhill and instead plans to seek re-election to the City Council.

Bevilacqua, who first won election to the City Council in 2015 after having served as a longtime member of the School Committee, said wants to spend more time with his family.

“I regret that I will not be a candidate for mayor. I spent so much time away from my family and doing so many things that I have done over the last several years that I believe that I need to spend more time with my family and I look forward to that opportunity,” he told WHAV.

He said he was urged by many to seek the mayor’s office and he believes he would have won the job this fall. “If I ran for mayor, I would have been successful against any known candidate or any potential candidate. The fact that they all believed I would be successful makes my decision much more difficult to be able to serve the city in my capacity. I want to put the word out now that I will not be a candidate at this time,” he said.

The decision by Mayor James J. Fiorentini to forego seeking an 11th term has created much speculation and interest in the job, but Bevilacqua said he doesn’t plan to endorse any other candidate. As it stands now City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett is the only confirmed contender for the corner office, but School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. told WHAV this month he launched an exploratory committee to consider a run.

Bevilacqua said he has staked out a few positions as he seeks re-election to the City Council. Among them, he said, is his opposition to the city’s high residential property tax rate and proposed override of the Proposition 2 ½ tax limiting law to replace the Dr. Albert B. Consentino School.

“When, in fact, it is not needed because the Consentino School has the funding to build a new school for Consentino. So, people are very, very concerned about the City of Haverhill being affordable. They’re concerned about the direction the city may take,” he said.

Formal nomination papers will be available from the Haverhill city clerk’s office beginning May 1. If there are more than three candidates, a preliminary election would take place Tuesday, Sept. 12. The final election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Comments are closed.