Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said he will not seek reelection in November after nearly 18 years at the city's helm. He is the city's longest-serving mayor.
“This will be my final year as mayor of Somerville," Curtatone said during a mid-term address to city officials Monday. "It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the city where I was raised. I love this job and this community with every ounce of my being.”
The 54-year-old Democrat has served as the city's mayor since 2004 and did not disclose why he would not seek reelection. He called the decision a "personal one," and added that "there's no calculus politically." However, there has been early speculation that the mayor may be weighing entering the 2022 gubernatorial race.
Beyond his announcement, Curtatone's speech largely focused on the city's response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Mayors are links in the chain that extends well beyond each of our time in office," he said. "I want to honor my role in that chain and hand our next mayor a city that is on solid footing and ready to take the next 20 steps in its evolution. So make no mistake as I carry forward during my final term, I am all in, Somerville. I will be hard at work for you until my last day on the job."
Over the years, Curtatone built a reputation as a progressive in Massachusetts politics. He touted Somerville's decades-long status as a so-called "sanctuary city" amid the increasing immigration crackdowns during former President Donald Trump's tenure.
In 2018, Curtatone traveled to Central America with Congressman Jim McGovern, exploring some of the motivations for migration from Honduras and El Salvador and calling for the renewal of temporary immigration protections for residents from those countries.
This article was originally published on March 01, 2021.