AMESBURY — District 6 City Councilor Derek Kimball will not run for re-election this fall and will step down at the end of his term in January.
Kimball made the announcement yesterday, saying he based his decision on a desire to spend more time with his family and keep up with the growing demands of his day job.
“My wife and I are seeing how fast our 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old daughter are growing up before our eyes and do not want to miss any of it,” Kimball said. “This, along with added responsibilities in my work, I feel now would be a good time to step away.”
Kimball has served as District 6 City councilor for two terms, first winning election in 2009 and then winning re-election in 2011. Both years Kimball ran unopposed.
That would not have been the case again this year if Kimball had decided to run, as Dave Haraske of 8 Moody St. — Kimball’s next-door neighbor — announced earlier this spring that he would be seeking Kimball’s seat on the council.
Reached for comment at that time, Kimball indicated that he was still undecided and would make up his mind after the all-consuming municipal budget process has been completed.
With the budget vote now in the rear-view mirror, Kimball thought about it and ultimately decided it was time for him to step away.
Even without Kimball’s participation, the District 6 race could still be a contested affair. In addition to Haraske, former District 6 Councilor Jonathan Sherwood has also pulled nomination papers, although at this point he is still undecided on whether he will run for District 6 or as a councilor at-large candidate.
This could be one of many contested races in what is shaping up to be the busiest election season Amesbury has seen in years.
So far six of the sitting city councilors have indicated their intentions to run for re-election, and four of them already have opponents who have pulled nomination papers.
The most hotly contested race will likely be the councilor at-large election, which is currently being sought by incumbents Allen Neale and Jim Kelcourse, along with Eric Bezanson of 115 Whitehall Road and possibly also Sherwood and District 3 Councilor Donna McClure, who is weighing whether to run for re-election in District 3 or to seek an at-large seat. Council President Anne Ferguson is not running for re-election.
In addition, Councilor Bob Gilday will be facing off against political newcomer Paul Sickorez of 13 Riverfront Drive, a retired pharmaceuticals worker and the president of his neighborhood homeowner’s association, in the District 1 election; in District 4, longtime Councilor Bob Lavoie will defend his seat against Dan Talbot of 15 Maple St.
If McClure decides to run for re-election in District 3, she could face off against newcomer David Moavenzadeh of 21 Paige Farm Road, who pulled nomination papers earlier this spring.
The latest candidate to pull nomination papers was District 2 Councilor Christian Scorzoni, who pulled papers at City Hall last Friday. Scorzoni could not be reached yesterday to confirm whether he is officially running for a second term, but if he intends to do so, he will be running unopposed unless a challenger emerges in the next month.
The only remaining councilor who has not signaled his plans for the upcoming election is District 5 Councilor Joseph McMilleon. He has pulled nomination papers but said he is still undecided on whether he will actually run. As of yesterday morning, nobody else has pulled papers in District 5 to challenge McMilleon.