NEWBURYPORT — One city councilor says he’s not seeking re-election, another says she is and a third says he’s still considering it.
Ward 5 City Councilor Larry Giunta said he decided not to run for re-election in November.
Giunta has served on the council for six years. In an email to The Daily News, Giunta said he will not seek another two-year term because of “increased responsibilities and demands on my time” at work.
“I am deeply appreciative for every vote I received,” Giunta said in the email. “I am also proud of the work I have put in to help residents with issues large and small as well as being part of the overall direction of the City. During my tenure, I am grateful to have met so many wonderful people and to have formed so many friendships.
“I look forward to seeing someone step up to run for Ward 5 and will do everything I can to pass the torch on smoothly,” he added. “I have enjoyed my city council experience and I can’t thank the residents and voters enough for the support I’ve received.”
With Giunta’s absence, there are no candidates who have pulled nomination papers to run for Ward 5 councilor.
Councilor at-large Afroz Khan said over the weekend that she plans to pull papers to run for re-election, but hasn’t had the chance because she has been traveling.
Ward 4 Councilor Charles Tontar has not pulled papers and said Monday he is undecided but is “leaning toward” running. Tontar added that he is also unsure if he would run for Ward 4 councilor or councilor at-large, a decision he said “depends on a number of things that remain to be determined.”
Tontar said he hopes to make a decision within the next week.
Ward 6 Councilor Thomas O’Brien still had not returned phone calls Monday afternoon on whether he would seek another term, and Councilor at-large Gregory Earls said he is undecided on whether he will run.
All of the remaining incumbent city councilors have pulled papers or said they plan on doing so, including Barry Connell, Sharif Zeid, Jared Eigerman, Heather Shand, Joseph Devlin and Bruce Vogel.
Two challengers have also pulled nomination papers, including Robert Germinara, who is running for councilor at-large, and Clete Kijek, who is vying for a Ward 4 council seat.
Nomination papers are available in the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 60 Pleasant St.
Candidates must obtain signatures of registered voters and return them to the office by July 30 at 5 p.m.
Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newburyport City Hall. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.