MANCHESTER, NH – Day two of candidate filings resulted in 13 more names being added to the fray – at the top of the ticket, Mayor Ted Gatsas made it official by declaring his candidacy for a fifth term.
Gatsas released the following statement on his Facebook candidate page:
“I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished during my time as Mayor. In the past two years crime has decreased, we saved a fire station from closing, allocated more money for roads, and the S.T.E.A.M. education program continues to produce great results for students.”
“Over 400 people net moved into Manchester as more people realize what long-term city residents have known all along, that Manchester is a great place to live, work, and play. What the city needs now is to continue on the positive work we have done together while also understanding where we can and must do better.”
Joyce Craig, who has announced her intention to run against Gatsas, but who has not yet signed on the dotted line, issued a statement shortly after Gatsas filed with the City Clerk’s office, a prelude to what should shape up to be a contentious race between the two candidates. Craig ran against Gatsas in the 2015 election, losing after a recount by 64 votes.
“Over the last eight years Manchester has stumbled from crisis to crisis and Mayor Ted Gatsas keeps claiming he doesn’t know when there are problems in the city. In just the last two weeks, Mayor Gatsas claimed he didn’t understand the “severity” of a violent crime in a school, claimed he didn’t know that the City Solicitor’s office was failing to prosecute domestic violence cases, and he didn’t realize his budget would result in the closure of fire stations. Mayor Gatsas is responsible for effectively managing the city and claiming he doesn’t know what is going on is not an acceptable excuse,” wrote Craig.
“I’m ready to have an honest conversation about the challenges our city is facing and get to the hard work of making Manchester a better place for all families. Manchester has endless opportunities, but is being held back by a Mayor who doesn’t understand and doesn’t address problems until they are crises,” she wrote in a prepared statement.
The Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors also reacted to Gatsas’ candidacy with the following joint statement:
“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the Mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures.
“Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough.”
The most crowded fields currently are Ward 4 and Ward 12 aldermanic races. In Ward 4 Jason Hodgdon added his name to the list which previously included incumbent Alderman Chris Herbert and Stephen Mathieu. In Ward 12, State Rep. Joel Elber is now in the running, along with incumbent Alderman Keith Hirschmann and Hassan Essa.
- Ed Sapienza of Ward 8 made it official after announcing his candidacy Tuesday. Incumbent Alderman Thomas Katziantonis has said he would not seek re-election, following some legal and tax issues around his business dealings. John Cataldo was the first candidate to register for the Ward 8 seat on Monday.
- Incumbent At-Large Aldermen Joe Kelly Levasseur and Dan O’Neil are both back on the ballot.
- Ward 7 Alderman slots are still wide-open after the close of Day 2. That seat is held by incumbent Alderman William Shea.
There’s still time to get in on the race:
Below is the updated list of candidates who have filed as of 5 p.m. on July 11.