HAVERHILL — Tim Coco, who received the most votes in his hometown Haverhill in the 2012 three-way Democratic primary election for state senate won by Kathleen O’Connor Ives of Newburyport, said he won’t run for the seat again this fall.
Coco, who runs a city-based advertising agency and is general manager of a local community radio station, swept Haverhill in the Democratic primary for the First Essex District seat, but lost to O’Connor-Ives who easily carried several seacoast communities.
O’Connor Ives then went on to win the seat formerly held by Steven Baddour of Methuen by defeating Haverhill Republican Shaun Toohey and two independent candidates in the final election.
Coco said he decided to announce his decision not to run at this time “out of fairness” to other potential candidates who may be thinking about running.
The final day for candidates to turn in nomination papers with at least 300 voter signatures to get on the ballot is April 29. O’Connor Ives, who turned in her nomination papers Monday, is the only candidate to have submitted the papers so far.
The First Essex District runs from Methuen east along the Merrimack River and includes Haverhill, Merrimac, Amesbury, Salisbury, Newburyport and four precincts in North Andover. Haverhill is the largest community by population in the district.
Coco said he decided not to run to focus his attention and energy on “the post-recession needs of clients of his 23-year-old advertising agency.”
He said he is also shepherding his nonprofit radio station through the complicated FM permitting process.
“I need not be on the public payroll to advocate for working families and small businesses,” Coco said. “I have demonstrated my independence from the political establishment and will always speak out for fairness and justice. In fact, there are certain advantages to being a free agent for the people.”