Newton Mayor Setti Warren’s announcement last week that he will not seek reelection next fall has already set off some announcements for from would-be successors.
So far, City Council President Scott Lennon and City Councilor Ruthanne Fuller have tossed their hats into the ring. And Ward 8 Councilor at-large Rick Lipof tells the TAB’s Jonathan Dame that he’s considering it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more announcements to come, from both inside and outside City Hall. But among the considerations Lennon, Fuller, Lipof or any other City Councilor must make is whether they should give up their seat to run, or should they hedge their bets — and risk being taken less seriously — and run for reelection and mayor at the same time.
Three years ago, Ted Hess-Mahan fell into the second category — challenging Warren for mayor in 2013 while seeking reelection to his council seat. But Hess-Mahan was never seen as a serious contender for the mayor’s job as much as someone who wanted to call attention to issues that mattered to him.
In contrast, in 2009, long-time aldermen Paul Coletti and Ken Parker did give up their board seats to run for mayor, only to not even make it past the preliminary. And arguably, 2017is more like 2009 than 2013 because we will elect a new mayor.
So should City Councilors give up their seats if they’re running for mayor?
Oh, and if Lennon, Fuller, Lipof and or others do give up their council seats, who would you like to see step-up to contend in wards 1, 7 or 8?