School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. made it official Tuesday afternoon that he is a candidate for the job of Haverhill’s mayor.
The announcement came as little surprise since Wood already listed a mayoral committee with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. He was elected to the Haverhill School Committee in 2003, two years after he graduated from high school, and became the youngest elected official in the city’s history.
“As the only candidate with experience in education, law enforcement, finance and as a small business owner, I am uniquely qualified to address the challenges facing our city while moving the community forward,” Wood said in a statement, adding, “My priorities of public safety, economic development, the cost of housing, taxes and education reflect the issues that matter most to Haverhill residents.”
Wood enters the race to succeed 20-year incumbent Mayor James J. Fiorentini and joins City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett—who announced in February, George Eleftheria and former mayoral contender Debra Campanile. Former City Councilor Colin F. LePage, who ran for mayor in 2021, has not declared his candidacy, but still has a mayoral committee on file with the state.
He said his priorities are education, housing, public safety and community investment and basic city services.
Wood is currently the longest serving member of Haverhill School Committee. He was born and raised in Haverhill, the son of a police officer and education support professional in Haverhill Public Schools. He attended Fox, Golden Hill and John Greenleaf Whittier Schools and graduated in 2001 from Haverhill High School. After high school and while serving on the School Committee, Wood attended Fisher College, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Management and an associate’s Criminal Justice.
In his announcement, Wood said in his nearly 20 years on the School Committee, he “led the fight for smaller class sizes and modern technology in the classroom, supported comprehensive high school renovation and successfully negotiated contracts that balanced fiscal restraint with the need for competitive pay to attract and retain quality teachers.
He was one of three School Committee members last fall to negotiate with Haverhill teachers that declared a strike. Wood was sworn in as a Haverhill police officer during the fall of 2020, but his current status is not clear.
He has worked nearly two decades in the finance industry and has served on the board of directors for the Haverhill Boys and Girls Club and Greater Haverhill Newburyport ARC, coached basketball at the local YMCA and worked as a Care Ambassador for the Parkinson’s Foundation.