Bonfanti Endorses Fitzgerald, Former Aide, in Mayor's Race
Mayor Michael Bonfanti has officially endorsed Sean Fitzgerald in the race to succeed Bonfanti this November.
Outgoing Mayor Michael Bonfanti officially endorsed Sean Fitzgerald this week in the race to succeed Bonfanti.
Bonfanti made his announcement public in a campaign video segment posted to Fitzgerald's YouTube channel and website. The five-term mayor, who welcomed Fitzgerald into his administration from the get-go, praised his former chief of staff as a capable, experienced and decisive leader.
“Sean puts the needs of the city first, he loves the process, he
believes in democracy. He talks about the city of Peabody like it is
heaven on earth and he means that sincerely,” said Bonfanti.
The two Tanner City natives first met a decade ago thanks to an introduction by the late Mayor Peter Torigian, who preceded Bonfanti. Fitzgerald was appointed by Torigian to represent Peabody on the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and in the county form of government before that was abolished.
As for his work under Bonfanti prior to becoming Town Manager in Plaistow, N.H. in 2008, Fitzgerald played a significant role in some major projects, Bonfanti said. He credited Fitzgerald with helping put the city's flood mitigation project at the forefront and for heavy involvement in the renovation of Peabody Veteran’s Memorial High School.
“Sean has what it takes to be a mayor, especially the mayor of the hometown where he lives, grew up and where his heart is,” said Bonfanti. "In this election, people need to stand back and take a real hard look at qualifications."
“Today we cannot afford popularity contests in government. We need to have leaders who are decisive, leaders who have competency and leaders who care,” Bonfanti said, adding that he believes Fitzgerald has the "compassion," "competency" and "care" necessary to lead the city forward.
"I have faith in the fact that the public will look at the credentials and act accordingly,” Bonfanti said.
Fitzgerald offered his thanks to his former boss in a press statement.
“I have tremendous respect for Mayor Bonfanti personally and as a leader. I am proud and humbled to have earned [his] confidence and support,” Fitzgerald said.
He also credited Bonfanti's administration with never fearing to take on tough issues, while keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line.
Commenting on the endorsement to the Salem News this week, Fitzgerald's opponent city councilor Ted Bettencourt, called the news "no surprise."
Bettencourt said Bonfanti "owed" Fitzgerald the endorsement as a former staff member and that it would have been news if he hadn't endorsed him.