LAWRENCE — When it comes to politics, Marcos A. Devers said he is resilient.
The city’s first appointed Hispanic mayor is making his third bid to be elected to the post. This time, his slogan is, “Change is needed and I will bring it.”
“Every day, I see this election as more important than ever, because Lawrence is a city without autonomy,” said Devers referring to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education naming Jeff Riley as superintendent/receiver of the city’s public schools and the appointment of Bob Nunes as overseer of the city’s finances. The overseer was mandated in legislation allowing the city to borrow as much as $35 million to balance its budget.
“We have less than half a mayor earning a full-time pay,” said Devers, 62, a Democrat who currently serves as a State Representative for the city. “His duties have been reduced and his salary should be as well and that would apply to me if I’m elected.”
Devers is challenging Mayor William Lantigua who is running for re-election to a second term. Other challengers are City Council Vice President Daniel Rivera, accountant Nestor DeJesus, local firefighter Juan “Manny” Gonzalez and inventor James O’Donoghue.
This is not the first time Devers faces Lantigua in a political race.
Lantigua defeated Devers in his re-election to the 16th Essex House seat in 2006 and 2008. Devers lost again to Lantigua in the 2009 mayoral race, finishing third in the preliminary election. Though Devers and Lantigua are fierce political rivals, Lantigua did support Devers’ campaign in the 2010 special election to fill his House seat after he resigned.
Devers said he is running for mayor because the city needs new leadership.
“I want to see our city take back its autonomy from the state,” he said.