NEWBURYPORT— Mayor Donna Holaday says she has not made up her mind on whether to run for state senator, but earlier this week she said she hasn't seen any candidates yet that she would support.
State Sen. Steven Baddour, D-Methuen, recently announced he will not seek re-election after almost a decade in office. His announcement set political minds abuzz, and numerous potential candidates announced they are running — or thinking of running.
Among those who said she would consider a candidacy is Holaday, who is serving her second term as mayor after years on the City Council.
The date for pulling papers and submitting names is May 1, and Holaday is still considering the challenge.
"I am concerned about who will step up to run," said Holaday in an interview. "It's an important position, and we must be well represented.
"Of the names that I have seen suggested, I haven't seen anyone that I could support."
Holaday said that she has received positive response from friends and political allies since she announced she might run for the position.
"I like the job that I have, and I think I have been helping move the city forward," said the mayor, a 56-year-old native of Marblehead.
"I've had people say that these opportunities don't come up very often, and I've had those who say I just can't leave Newburyport. Most comments have been wonderful, and I am appreciative of them."
Other local candidates who have considered running are Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer, Amesbury City Councilor James Kelcourse and former Newburyport City Councilor Steve Hutcheson. There are other possible candidates from Haverhill and Methuen also in the mix.
Newburyport is at the sparsely-populated end of the district. The communities that make up the district include Amesbury (10,808 voters) Newburyport (13,217) Salisbury (5,631), Merrimac (4,442), Methuen (29,256), Haverhill (41,869) and about half of North Andover, which has a little over 18,000 voters.
Holaday, a Democrat, noted that she her experience includes work with the disabled in the Haverhill and Newburyport area and teaching at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill.
Baddour has been earning about $66,000 per year, plus a per diem.
Holaday is currently making about $85,000, a figure that would go to $98,000 after the next mayoral election in 2013 — should she run for re-election and win the city's new four-year term.