, Newburyport, MA


November 7, 2013

Kezer should concede to Mayor-elect Gray

To the editor:

I sincerely applaud Mr. Kezer on his service to Amesbury for the last eight years. However, because I don’t share his political views, my wholehearted congratulations go to Mayor-elect Ken Gray, as I feel he has the wherewithal to improve our great city, and to do so at significantly less financial burden to the residents than our current mayor. This was a close race in vote count, but to me it was a clear and decisive win for Mayor-elect Gray when one considers that he was a dark horse who took a four-term incumbent by surprise and came out ahead in both the preliminary and general elections.

I couldn’t agree more with those who have been critical of Mr. Kezer for the division he has allowed and even encouraged across Amesbury. The pre-election formation of the disingenuous “I Am Pro-Amesbury” PAC with which he quickly aligned himself was, in my opinion, a smear campaign that, by its very nature, may have pulled more last-minute votes in Mr. Kezer’s direction by implying, through innuendo, that Ken Gray and anyone politically affiliated with him is “anti-Amesbury.” Unfortunately, this campaign tactic did not pull enough extra votes to give him, the incumbent, the resounding victory for which he hoped; nor did it change the fact that everyone who supported and continues to support Mayor-elect Gray is as pro-Amesbury as anyone I have come across.

Mayor-elect Gray ran an above-board, well-engineered campaign, and he achieved his win, albeit a small one, despite the numerous benefits the current mayor has had at his disposal. He did it by knocking on doors and meeting Amesbury residents, and listening attentively to their real and serious concerns. (He also did it with far less campaign money.) And, he proved one crucial point, it being that the city has essentially been divided by the current administration — and this is confirmed by the vote tally. That said, a recount that could possibly favor Mr. Kezer now could never be a clean and decisive win for him, plus it would only serve to divide the town much further than it already has been divided.

With all due respect to Mr. Kezer, and for the good of Amesbury, I urge him to please strongly consider, for all the above reasons, conceding this race to his opponent. Please allow Mayor-elect Gray to get on with his campaign pledge to unify the city, among other things. A recount will only make for a costly endeavor that, ultimately, could further fracture our community.

John Donnell


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