Kim Driscoll

SALEM, Mass. — Kim Driscoll has announced a bid for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.

Driscoll, a Democrat, announced early Tuesday afternoon her candidacy for the statewide office. She is the only mayor running in this year’s statewide elections and promises a new focus from Beacon Hill that puts the needs of real people in Massachusetts cities and towns first.

“Mayors like me have been on the frontlines of our most urgent fights — from COVID-19 response and recovery to racial equality, the climate crisis, strengthening our public schools and making housing more affordable,” Driscoll said in an announcement video. “At this moment of change, so much is at stake. We need leaders who understand and can empower communities. Our cities and towns need a new voice on Beacon Hill.”

In late December, Driscoll confirmed she was “taking a serious look” at a bid for lieutenant governor after she reported getting “some calls of encouragement and lots of folks expressing support if I were to seek a statewide position.”

The comment came as a response to a “Massachusetts Playbook” post in Politico that named her as “seriously considering” the run. It quoted Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo as saying Driscoll “has been a leader for all of us” and that he felt she “should be running for governor, but realistically she’s thinking about lieutenant governor.”

The news also came less than two months after Driscoll — Salem’s first woman mayor — handily secured a historic fifth term leading the Witch City. If she finished her term as mayor, she would tie Francis Collins as the city’s longest-serving mayor with 20 years on the books.

When discussing the possibility last month, Driscoll said a state run wasn’t something she had in mind previously, but would “take a serious look at it” and would speak with her family, other mayors and stakeholders statewide about it.

By Salem’s city charter , if there is mayoral vacancy within the first three years of a four-year term, a special election is held to elect a mayor to finish the term. If a vacancy is in the fourth year, the City Council must elect one of its members within 30 days to serve as acting mayor; if they fail to do so, the City Council president becomes acting mayor automatically.

The full announcement, which includes comments from several supporters, listed 21 public officials and organization leaders, including mayors, state senators and representatives, education leaders and more.

Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff called Driscoll “the only candidate in this race who has the skill set and the competencies that it takes to be a good and effective partner with the governor and to be a great lieutenant governor.”

Manny Cruz, who serves with Driscoll as vice chair of the Salem School Committee, called her a “champion for educational equity for all students” and an “ally and champion for anti-racist policies that will deeply impact Black and brown communities across our commonwealth.”

State Rep. Paul Tucker (D-Salem), who worked closely with Driscoll in that role as well as when he was Salem’s police chief, called her the “go-to municipal leader among her colleagues statewide,” crediting her “bold action” through the pandemic as a “model for other communities.”

“From a strong COVID-19 response and recovery, to spearheading climate resiliency for our region, Kim is a strong leader who always puts people first,” said state Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem).

Contact Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or DLuca@salemnews.com. Follow him at facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

Contact Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or DLuca@salemnews.com. Follow him at facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

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