On the Republican side, longtime activist Kosma Evangelidis could not be reached for comment. West Peabody resident Gregg Bunn has been mentioned by some as having an interest in running as a Republican.
Also thought to be potential candidates are two former contestants for the office. John Slattery won it and held it in the 1990s, but he’s since suffered defeats in runs for lieutenant governor, mayor and state senator. Former mayoral aide Sean Fitzgerald, now the town manager of Plaistow, N.H., gave an incumbent Spiliotis a tough fight in 2006. Little more than a year ago he lost to Mayor Ted Bettencourt in the contest for mayor.
Neither Slattery nor Fitzgerald could be reached for comment.
City Councilor Tom Gould said he gave the race strong consideration. Scooping ice cream at his store, Treadwell’s on Margin Street, he explained that the demands of business, the council and family were such that he had decided against running.
For his part, the man with the best citywide organization, Bettencourt, declared himself only a spectator to all this, backing no one at this juncture. “I expect to see a robust number of candidates,” he said.