NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 21, 2014

Pols ponder House seat

Port, Amesbury councilors consider race to succeed Costello

NEWBURYPORT — The announcement by state Rep. Michael Costello, D-Newburyport, that he will not seek re-election to another term could mean a crowded field of candidates will vie for the vacant seat, as several politicians yesterday said they are considering a possible run.

The First Essex is comprised of Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. On Wednesday, Costello, 48, a 12-year veteran of the Statehouse, announced that he will finish his term and then seek a position with a law firm that deals with statewide governmental issues.

As news of Costello’s upcoming departure from Beacon Hill spread, speculation as to who his successor would be was rampant in political circles yesterday.

In Amesbury, former Mayor Thatcher Kezer admitted his phone rang non-stop as friends and colleagues called to gauge his interest in the position. But Kezer was doubtful that he’ll toss his hat into the ring.

He is currently using his military background and is working with the Governor’s Military Task Force and concentrating on economic development issues with the state’s military facilities, like Otis and Hanscom Air Force bases, he said.

“I’m very appreciative of the inquiries I’ve received,” Kezer said. “But right now I think my focus will remain on what I’m doing. I spend half my time at Hanscom and half my time working at home.”

However, two Amesbury city councilors, Bob Lavoie and Jim Kelcourse, are mulling the idea of joining the race.

Lavoie, a lawyer elected to the Amesbury council in 2005, said he would consider the “process and prospects” of such a run, and would make a decision in coming weeks.

Kelcourse, a Republican lawyer who ran unsuccessfully against Kathleen O’Connor Ives in the 2012 Senate race to fill the seat vacated by Stephen Baddour, said he was “seriously considering a run for the seat.”

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