AMESBURY — State Rep. Jim Kelcourse took out nomination papers Wednesday morning to run for mayor of Amesbury.
The Amesbury Republican has worked as a state representative since 2015 but stopped by City Hall Wednesday morning to take the first step in a campaign for the mayor's office.
"I am running for mayor because I love Amesbury and I think this city really deserves someone who will make good, sound decisions on behalf of the people who live in this great community," Kelcourse said.
Incumbent Mayor Kassandra Gove won her seat in her first electoral campaign in 2019. Gove has already taken out nominations papers to run for a second term and former Selectman James Thieverge has also pulled papers.
Kelcourse said he intends to focus on economic development and pointed to the planned $70 million Maples Crossing sports complex on South Hunt Road as a key part of the city's success in the future.
"Not a week goes by when someone doesn't ask me about Maples Crossing, why isn't that moving forward?" Kelcourse said. "And not a week goes by when someone doesn't ask me when I'm going to run for mayor."
Kelcourse, 47, also said that he has worked in a bipartisan manner at the Statehouse and believes that approach would enable him to help the city's public school district.
"I worked to pass an Act Relative to Special Education Transportation Costs and it passed in the Student Opportunity Act during the last session," he said. "That substantially increased the amount of Chapter 70 education funding the state gives to Amesbury and communities throughout the commonwealth, each year."
He also cited his efforts to get more funds for Amesbury schools, the Early College program with Northern Essex Community College and computer carts, as well as success in getting a $50,000 Public Safety grant.
Besides holding a seat in the Legislature, Kelcourse is an attorney and served on the Amesbury City Council in 2009 before successfully running for state representative in 2014.