EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 9, 2013

Two more join race for Lawrence mayor

Eighth candidate enters council race

LAWRENCE — An inventor and an accountant have jumped into the race for mayor, joining incumbent William Lantigua and City Council Vice President Daniel Rivera in a field that has been filling up since nominating petitions became available Wednesday.

The race for the three at-large seats on the City Council also got more crowded yesterday when Nilka Alvarez-Rodriguez, a former city councilor who ran for mayor in 2009, became the eighth candidate to pick up petitions for one of the citywide seats.

In the race for mayor, Nestor DeJesus, an accountant who ran for City Council in 2009, picked up petitions yesterday. James O’Donoghue, a self-described inventor who has made a career campaigning for a magnetically levitated rail system that he says would cut the commute from Lawrence to Boston to eight minutes, picked up petitions last week.

DeJesus said he is running to improve economic development, education and public safety. “He’s only working to improve the streets,” DeJesus said about Lantigua. “The city of Lawrence needs other care.”

DeJesus’s son, Nestor Jr., is an assistant financial officer in the city’s Department of Community Development. His brother, Jorge, works for the Department of Inspectional Services.

O’Donoghue could not be reached yesterday.

Several others also are considering entering the race for mayor, including state Representative Marcos Devers, city firefighter Juan “Manny” Gonzalez and David Abdoo, a media affairs specialist for the federal Department of Health and Human Services in Boston who was the runner up against Lantigua four years ago.

The race for the City Council is the first step in what will be a significant shakeup on the council next year, when it will lose its president, vice president and budget committee chairman. President Frank Moran has served on the council for three terms, but is giving up his seat a year after he was elected to the statehouse and held both offices. Rivera, who chairs the council’s budget committee in addition to serving as vice president, is giving up his seat to run for mayor.

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