Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone won't seek re-election in November, he announced during his mid-term address on Monday.
Curtatone, who has held office for nearly 18 years and is currently in his ninth term, is the longest-serving mayor in the city's history.
"This will be my final year as mayor of Somerville. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the city where I was raised. I love this job and this community with every ounce of my being,'' he said during an address Monday.
Curtatone said he's glad to be able to focus on continuing to lead the dense and rapidly changing city through the challenges of the coronavirus without the political distractions of a reelection campaign. He vowed to be "all-in'' throughout the rest of his final term.
"Every day as we do this work of the City I pass by the portraits of the mayors who served before me. It is a constant reminder that mayors are links in a chain that extends well beyond each of our time in office," Curtatone said. "I want to honor my role in that chain and hand our next mayor a city that is on solid footing and ready to take the next 20 steps in its evolution. So make no mistake, as I carry forward during my final term, I’m all in, Somerville. I will be hard at work for you until my last day on the job.”
Curtatone has adopted a more cautious approach to combatting the virus than the state as a whole, often keeping restrictions in place after they had been lifted for the rest of the state.
The 54-year-old has also been a regular critic of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's approach to reining in COVID-19, saying it has been too lax at times.
According to The Boston Globe, Curtatone's departure is expected to fuel speculation that the 54-year-old Democrat could run for governor in 2022.
Curtatone, who has occasionally been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in the past, declined to discuss future plans.
In his interview with the Globe, Curtatone did not rule out a future political run, and said he doesn't have a job lined up for after his current term expires.
“I’m not even thinking about what I may or may want to do. Politics and running for [another] office is science fiction to me,” Curtatone told the Globe. “Soon enough, I’ll have enough clarity in my mind to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report