NASHUA — Mayor Jim Donchess has made his reelection campaign official by filing his paperwork as a mayoral candidate for the September primary election.
“I decided to run because it is a great honor to serve the people of Nashua,” Donchess said on Tuesday. “In the next four years, I want to continue the good work that we started.”
Donchess, 69, is a lawyer by profession. He was elected in the fall of 2015 for a four-year term, but previously served as the mayor of Nashua from 1984-1991. He also sat on the Board of Aldermen from 1978-1981, and again from 2012-2015.
So far, Donchess is the only candidate who has filed nomination petitions and an acceptance petition, which took place on Monday. The city clerk has already certified his petitions.
If reelected as mayor, Donchess said he wants to continue to find ways to expand the tax base by adding housing and jobs.
About 500 downtown housing units have been constructed throughout his most recent tenure as mayor, and he says more downtown housing is already in the works.
“We can also improve the downtown business climate,” he said.
Other initiatives such as paving more roads, undertaking a major middle school upgrade, progressing on the Riverfront Master Plan and helping to beautify the Nashua River are also in the pipeline, according to Donchess.
He also wants to expand on energy savings and green projects to help reduce the city’s emissions. During the past four years, Donchess has focused significant attention on the public health crisis that opioids have brought to the city and state by working to help implement Nashua’s Safe Station program and forming an opioid task force.
“It has saved a lot of lives,” Donchess said of the local Safe Station program, which has provided a place for more than 2,600 people to seek help.
The number of fatal overdoses has declined, and more can still be done to tackle this serious issue, he added.
In addition, Donchess continues his efforts to potentially bring commuter rail service from Boston to Nashua, working with the legislature and private and public partnerships in the initiative.
He remains hopeful that progress will be made on this front.
During the mayoral primary election in 2015, Donchess had five other opponents. While it is not yet clear whether any other candidates will throw their hats in the ring, Donchess said he believes he has a strong record to run on.
The mayoral primary election is slated for Sept. 10 if three or more candidates decide to run, with the municipal general election planned for Nov. 5. The filing period for mayoral candidates ends on June 21.