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December 30, 2012

Abdoo may challenge Lantigua reelection bid

Criticizes mayor for 'carrying on as if he were king'

LAWRENCE — David Abdoo, the former city councilor who lost the 2009 mayoral election to William Lantigua by 1,038 votes, yesterday derided Lantigua as “delusional” for planning a reelection bid next year.

Abdoo said he will consider challenging the mayor in the city election slated for the fall of 2013. Lantigua, who took office in January 2010 as the city and state’s first elected Hispanic mayor, announced Friday he will seek a new four-year term.

“This guy’s delusional,” said Abdoo. “There is not a demand for his return. This is just another example of a man that’s tone deaf to the world around him. ... The idea of him running is outrageous.”

Lantigua earned 7,095 votes in 2009 to Abdoo’s 6,057 (54 to 46 percent). Abdoo ran for mayor as a 10-year veteran of the Lawrence Planning Board and a first-term city councilor representing District E, which covers the western portion of South Lawrence.

A Lawrence native, Abdoo said he attended Lantigua’s inauguration in January 2010 in an effort to “help heal racial wounds” in the city.

Abdoo, 45, said his involvement in city politics the past three years has been limited to signing a pair of unsuccessful recall petitions put forth with hopes of removing Lantigua from office. But he said he’s yet to speak out publicly against the mayor until now.

“Since the day — the hour — I lost, I made a point of being deferential to the mayor,” said Abdoo. “He’s divisive. It’s really broken my heart because he had a unique opportunity to lead all of Lawrence.

“Instead he’s been more interested in patronage, seemingly weekly trips to the Dominican Republic, and frankly carrying on as if he were king. It’s just been very disappointing.”

Lantigua and Abdoo were finalists in a 2009 mayoral primary that saw 10 candidates enter the race.

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