AMESBURY – With less than two weeks to go before the preliminary election, Mayor Thatcher Kezer is now preparing to officially start his reelection campaign and turn his attention to the three challengers vying for his job.
Kezer officially kicks off his campaign for re-election next week in hopes of winning a fifth term as mayor of Amesbury, and in order to do so, he will have to fight off challenges from local technology executive Ken Gray, former selectmen Jim Thivierge and resident Jeffrey Hoover.
The four candidates will first square off in the Sept. 17 preliminary, and the top two vote getters will then advance to the citywide municipal elections on Nov. 5.
Kezer is planning a kick-off event at Crave Food and Wine Bar on Monday at 6:30 p.m. The mayor’s relatively late entry into the fray stands in stark contrast to the activity of his opponents. Thivierge has been criticizing Kezer’s management style and fiscal abilities in a variety of public forums since announcing his candidacy back in February. Signs promoting Gray have become a ubiquitous presence all over town.
Kezer’s campaign signs have been noticeably absent from Amesbury lawns, however that will change in the coming days as Kezer plans to begin distributing his own signs this week. His decision to hold off on campaigning until now was based on a desire to wait until residents were ready for the election themselves.
“Putting signs up in June is way too early,” Kezer said. “Now that folks are back from summer, school is back in session and Labor Day is over, now folks are going to focus on what’s going on, and that’s when you want to put the signs up.”
While Gray didn’t have an opinion on the late start of Kezer’s campaign and said the mayor was doing what he felt was best, he did counter by saying that getting out early allowed him the chance to meet with voters, and he found many of them to be very interested in what’s going on.