Tom Gould says he's out.
While acknowledging he had given it serious thought, Gould now confirms he will not seek late state Rep. Joyce Spiliotis' seat in a special election this spring. The Eye on Peabody blog first reported the news over the weekend.
"I gave it some serious consideration and decided it was not in the best interest of my family to run," Gould said on Monday. He added that it would also put a strain on his efforts to run his business, Treadwell's Ice Cream, through the spring.
"A couple of years from now, who knows?" he said.
Gould said he was "very flattered," however, to have received some early pledges of support if he did run.
Is he planning to keep his seat on the City Council? "Absolutely," Gould said, noting he hopes to become the council president in 2013, leading up to a re-election bid.
Gould topped the ticket in the council race a year ago.
He said he'll continue his efforts to help others and better the community each day -- Gould was recently honored for his years of community service around Peabody -- whether as a public servant or a private citizen.
With Gould officially out of the race that leaves two potential candidates so far: School Committeewoman Beverley Griffin Dunne, a Democrat, and City Councilor-at-Large Dave Gravel, who would likely run as an Independent. Neither has officially announced yet, however, that they will run.
Anne Manning-Martin's name has also surfaced as a possible candidate, but there's nothing definite on that yet. Manning-Martin, who twice ran against Spiliotis, was not available for comment Monday.
Manning-Martin lost the 2002 Democratic primary to Spiliotis by fewer than 400 votes, but lost by a much larger margin again in 2004.
She came onto the council in an open At-Large seat with Gravel in 2007 -- both councilors are also former School Committee members.
He said he wants to focus on his current job as Town Manager of Plaistow, N.H. Fitzgerald did take time out from his job last year to run for Mayor, ultimately losing that contest to Ted Bettencourt.
Republican Kosma Evangelidis also tells the Globe he is considering running. Evangelidis is a retired investment banker and former chairman of the city's Republican Committee. He also operates a political consulting business.
Spiliotis was finishing out her fifth consecutive term as the 12th Essex District representative and was just re-elected last month to a sixth term. Her last serious challenge for the seat came from Fitzgerald six years ago.
State officials will likely set the dates for a special election when the legislature reconvenes Jan. 2 and if it comes to a primary race, that's not expected to happen until March.
Who would you like to see run and succeed Joyce Spiliotis -- one of the names mentioned above or someone else? Let us know in the comments section below.