Manchester alderman declares mayoral candidacy
MANCHESTER - Alderman Patrick Arnold has declared his candidacy for mayor, taking early aim at two-term incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas well ahead of the 2013 municipal election.
Arnold, who represents Ward 12, said he felt it would be "inappropriate" to delay announcing his candidacy. "The state of the city being what it is, we want to be talking to voters about these significant issues as soon as possible," he said.
Arnold, a Democrat and among the youngest members on the board of aldermen, said the central issue facing the city is education, with business development a close second.
"The current leadership in Manchester seems to think everything is fine and goes so far as criticizing people who talk about the challenges," he said. "The other thing is job growth. We should be leading economic development in the state, and we're not."
Gatsas, a Republican, said he didn't feel the need to respond to Arnold's pointed criticism of his leadership.
"In past elections, I've never run against anybody. I run for the position," he said. "I certainly welcome anyone to put their name on the ballot. It's no easy task to go out and run. I'll go out and talk to the citizens of Manchester about my ideas."
At least one other Democrat is eying a run for mayor, Alderman Garth Corriveau.
Arnold responded to claims that he has been living outside of his ward with his fiancé. "I hate to continue gossip and would rather stay focused on issues that matter to the city, but I have always lived in Ward 12," he said. "I haven't changed my residence."
Arnold's campaign will also have a new media component. On the same day he announced his candidacy, the campaign went live with a website and Twitter account.
Arnold is an attorney by profession, and he also serves as a director of the Manchester Development Corporation and on the board of NeighborWorks of Greater Manchester.