Two members of city government of Holyoke, Massachusetts, have announced they're running to replace Mayor Alex Morse.
Devin Sheehan, a school committee member, said one of his priorities would be to regain local control of the Holyoke schools, which the state took over in 2015 because of chronic underperformance.
"Public education works best when it’s run by locally elected leaders," Sheehan said Friday. "I want a plan in place and I want to see the steps and I want us out of receivership and I want the school committee leading the school district with a superintendent hired by the citizens of Holyoke."
Sheehan said he would also focus on getting state and federal money to help Holyoke businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. In addition to serving on the school committee, Sheehan is a senior analyst in the office of instruction for the Springfield Public Schools.
City Councilor Rebecca Lisi has also announced she's running for mayor in Holyoke, and will hold an official announcement Monday.
In a press release, Lisi said she wants to help ensure government decisions are reflective of the diversity of the city.
“As your mayor, my priority will be to help our city build bridges that link us, instead of walls that divide us," she said.
Lisi has been on the council for 14 years, and is working on her Ph.D. in political science at UMass Amherst.
Morse announced last month he would not reelection. He lost a Democratic primary for Congress in September.
Open mayoral seat Northampton
David Narkewicz, the mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts, said this week he will not seek reelection this fall. When he leaves office, he will have served 10 years as mayor and six before that as a city councilor.
Narkewicz said it's time for different people with new ideas to lead what he calls a politically engaged community like Northampton.
"It's a big decision to say, 'I want to run for mayor,'" he said. "But I think it's an equally important decision to say it's time for me to step back and let someone else take on this really important role."
Narkewicz said he's proudest of his work on LBGTQ rights, making Northampton a sanctuary city, and helping provide shelter for the city's homeless population.
He said he has not decided what to do after finishing his term, but has ruled out any more runs for elected office.