NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

January 16, 2013

Amesbury: Kezer plans to run for 5th term

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY – Brushing off speculation that he might seek state office, Mayor Thatcher Kezer indicated yesterday that intends to run for a fifth term as mayor of Amesbury.

Kezer’s name has been floated as a possible candidate for the state treasurers position, he was one of four mentioned by the Boston Globe on Sunday, but while he admitted that he hopes to move up to the state in the future, he isn’t looking to do so just yet.

“There are conversations that I’ve had with people who’ve ask me what I’m interested in,” Kezer said. “I don’t plan on being mayor forever, but I do plan on being mayor for another two years and run for re-election.”

The mayoral election will take place this coming fall. Kezer said a formal announcement regarding his re-election bid would be coming in the near future, and as soon as nomination papers are available in the spring he would make his candidacy official.

As far as the rumors suggesting that he would seek the state treasurer’s position, Kezer said he wasn’t surprised to hear his name being floated.

“There are people who are interested in having me run for treasurer,” Kezer said. “What happens is, as a mayor, I’m involved in a whole number of issues at the state level. I keep getting designated by both the governor and the legislature to be on certain task forces.”

Kezer has received numerous awards from the state for work that he has done, and he said there are a number of mayors like him who have been tagged as those with a high potential to move up to the next level.

Speculation is running particularly rampant now because the impending departure of Gov. Deval Patrick in 2014, along with Sen. John Kerry’s expected confirmation as Secretary of State, means that there will be a chain reaction of vacancies that will be felt at all levels of government.

First there will be congressmen and other high-ranking officials vying for Kerry and Patrick’s offices. Then there will be state senators, representatives and others who will try to replace them on Capitol Hill, and then officials at the municipal level aiming for a shot at the State House in Boston.

“What’s happening at the state level is all of the dominos start to fall,” Kezer said. “People’s conversations start turning into speculation over who are the likely people in position to be able to move up and what would they be interested in.”

Kezer is already Amesbury’s longest tenured mayor, and by seeking a fifth term he could potentially put himself in a position to see the Lower Millyard redevelopment process through to the end.

As far as the upcoming campaign is concerned, Kezer said he has no idea who his potential opponent might turn out to be, and that it doesn’t really make a difference to him.

“There’s always speculation based on who’s making themselves more visible, but I don’t worry about that in the sense that every time I’ve run, I just focus on what I need to do to be a really good mayor and get that message out,” Kezer said. “Whoever else runs and what their platform is, that’s their problem, that’s for them to figure out.”