METHUEN — Just nine months since he took office, Mayor Stephen Zanni announced yesterday he plans to run for a second term next year, the first candidate to do so.
Some local political watchers speculated he may have thrown his hat in the ring early to head off some Democratic challengers. And several of the city’s political class were noncommittal on whether they would run against the incumbent for a two-year term.
“I will be running for a second term, and I’ll be looking for your support to move our city forward,” Zanni told a crowd of about 100 yesterday at a Columbus Day roast at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club that included many prominent city leaders and political figures.
Zanni, 68, trumpeted his accomplishments so far in his term, including getting all the municipal contracts settled, encouraging Century Box to expand in Methuen with a tax incentive, and making sure the high school renovation and expansion project stayed on time and on budget.
William Manzi, Zanni’s predecessor as mayor, said after the roast that he was not considering another run for mayor. He could not run last year because the city’s charter limits mayors to three consecutive two-year terms. However, the charter would permit him to run next year because he sat out a term.
Manzi said he would announce an endorsement “at an appropriate time.”
Businessman Al DiNuccio, who ran against Zanni last year, said it is too early for a decision on whether he would run again.
“I said after the last election that I would give this mayor a full year before saying anything,” DiNuccio said yesterday before the roast. “I want Steve to do well. I don’t want to have to run against him. I don’t dislike anyone. I just disagree with politics, that’s all.”