METHUEN — City Council Chairwoman Jennifer Kannan said she will “definitely consider” running for mayor in 2013 against incumbent Stephen Zanni, who is seeking reelection.
Kannan confirmed rumors that she’s contemplating a mayoral run yesterday in an interview with The Eagle-Tribune. The 47-year-old has served as a councilor-at-large for five years and will be forced off the council at the end of next year due to term limits.
Methuen residents will elect a mayor in the fall of 2013.
“It’s something that I’ll definitely consider,” said Kannan. “A lot of people have approached me, but I’m not announcing anything.”
Mayor Zanni announced Oct. 5 he will seek a second two-year term, just nine months since taking office in January. Some local political watchers speculated Zanni may have thrown his hat in the ring early to head off challengers.
Zanni, 68, narrowly won election in November 2011 over businessman Al DiNuccio, a result that was confirmed by a recount. By the end, Zanni won by 34 votes out of about 8,900 cast.
Like Kannan, Zanni served three consecutive two-year terms as a city councilor-at-large.
The city’s charter limits mayors, city councilors and School Committee members to three consecutive terms. After sitting out one term, candidates are then eligible to run again.
Kannan, who turns 48 next month, is married with three children and one grandchild. She doesn’t expect to make any decision about running for mayor until sometime next year.
Kannan’s stint as a councilor-at-large is her first in public office.
“Being born and raised in Methuen, I obviously love the city,” said Kannan. “I’m a people person. I think the mayor should definitely relate with the residents. I think that’s a strong point for me.”
Kannan said she has experience in negotiating, having worked as a realtor the last 12 years with Coco Early & Associates. Kannan said she also has strong ethics.
“I work hard for the people and that’s what I’d do as mayor,” said Kannan.
William Manzi, Zanni’s predecessor, has said he is not considering another run for mayor.
DiNuccio said earlier this month it’s too early for a decision on whether he will run again. He expects to give Zanni a full year in office before making any decision.
Former Methuen town manager Robert LeBlanc has also said he will consider running.