EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 16, 2013

Familiar names line up for city election

METHUEN — Residents won't elect a mayor or city councilors until November, but the field of candidates is taking shape with a few familiar names already in the mix.

Al DiNuccio said he is considering another run for mayor, bringing the field of potential candidates to three. Mayor Stephen Zanni will run for reelection this fall and City Councilor Jennifer Kannan is contemplating a mayoral challenge of her own.

As for City Council, former mayoral candidate Kenneth Willette Jr. said he will run for councilor-at-large and School Committeeman Evan Chaisson said he is throwing his hat in the ring for West District councilor.

Former council chairman Jack Cronin is also planning a return to elected office, most likely in the Central District council race.

Zanni announced his intention to run for a second two-year term in early October, just nine months after taking office last January. In November 2011, Zanni narrowly defeated DiNuccio by 34 votes out of about 8,900 cast in an election that required a recount.

A local businessman, DiNuccio also ran unsuccessful campaigns for Methuen mayor in 2009 and state representative in 2010. DiNuccio said he sat down with a small group of supporters Monday night for an informal discussion about his plans for the fall.

"I'm not 100 percent sure that I'm running but I'm also not 100 percent sure that I'm not running," quipped DiNuccio yesterday.

Kannan, who serves as a councilor-at-large on the City Council, announced she was considering a mayoral run in mid October. Yesterday, Kannan said she won't announce her final decision until the spring.

"Nothing official yet but I'm still considering," said Kannan. "I'm still talking to a lot of my supporters."

Term limits will force both Kannan and West District Councilor Jeanne Pappalardo off the City Council at the end of 2013.

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