Salem councilor helps launch new neighborhood groups

Ward 3 Councilor Lisa Peterson leads the first meeting of a new neighborhood group in her ward, at the Senior Center on Broad Street, last year. 

SALEM — Salem City Councilor Lisa Peterson is challenging Congressman Seth Moulton.

Peterson, 40, announced her 6th District congressional campaign late Sunday evening, as Moulton, a Salem Democrat, runs for president.  

“I’m running because it’s an emergency. I believe that we need an economy that works for all of us, one that prioritizes affordable housing and education, universal healthcare, and better paying jobs," she said in a statement. "We need to treat everyone with dignity, no matter what they look like, where they come from or who they love. Leading in a coastal district, I appreciate how urgent our climate crisis is. We cannot wait any longer to address it. We need innovative solutions that protect our environment and create good paying jobs.”

Peterson is in her first term as the city councilor representing Ward 3, after defeating incumbent Steve Lovely in 2017. She is founder and president of Lantern Financial, a financial planning firm in Boston, and started a nationwide online network called Run for Our Lives, designed to inspire and support progressive women and gender expansive people from all backgrounds to enter politics.

Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in economics and mathematics from Simmons College in Boston and is involved in Simmons University's Alumnae/i Association.   

She lives in Salem with her husband, Scott, and 10-year-old daughter, Alice. It was not immediately clear whether Peterson also plans to seek re-election to the City Council this year.

She is the latest to either launch a campaign or explore a possible run for the 6th District congressional seat. Late last month, Salem State University Trustee Jamie Zahlaway Belsito of Topsfield announced plans to run. Others exploring a congressional bid include Topsfield resident and gun violence prevention advocate Angus McQuilken; state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead; former state Sen. Barbara L'Italien of Andover; former nine-term Congressman John Tierney, who Moulton beat in a long shot bid in the Democratic primary in 2014; and Governor's Councilor and Peabody native Eileen Duff of Gloucester.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has said she would explore a run for Congress if the seat were open.

Moulton has said previously that if he is unable to secure the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, he intends to seek a fourth term.

This story will be updated.