, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 6, 2013

Sullivan to challenge Holaday for Newburyport mayor


“I am not in favor of too much building, but I will study plans that talk about some development there,” he said. “I would like to see something done in that area (of 4.2 acres, now used primarily for parking.)”

Holaday could not be reached for comment.

Sullivan has spent most of his adult life working for the city. Before he joined the fire department, he served in the Navy from 1976 to 1980. He is a graduate of Newburyport High School (’75), and took courses at Northern Essex Community College.

He currently works as a real estate salesman at Richard Sullivan Real Estate, started by his father, and also at Home Depot.

His father, Richard E. Sullivan, 78, was mayor from 1978 to 1985. His brother, Chris, was a city councilor and was named mayor by fellow councilors in late 1997 to 1998 after Mayor Lisa Mead resigned office to take another job. His brother, Joe, was also a city councilor.

His grandfather, James E. Sullivan, was city marshal through the ’50s and ’60s until his untimely death at City Hall. Dick Sullivan once said, “He took his last breath on the floor of the City Council chambers” while arguing a matter of municipal pay.

Dick Sullivan Jr., the oldest of eight, resides at 6 Lt. Leary Drive. He has two daughters in the school system.

The candidate said he “talked with other city councilors all weekend” before making the decision to take out papers. He also discussed the matter with his partner of 10 years, Penny Stauffer.

Regarding his early entry into the race, Sullivan said he was stimulated in part by a remark that he said Holaday made at a recent council meeting when “she talked down to me.”

Sullivan recalled that he had been asking questions about the composition of a school superintendent’s search committee that Holaday had announced. Sullivan said he had asked a question about eligibility and possible payment for committee work. “And the mayor said, ‘If you had done your ethics training, you would know the answer to that question.’”

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