Former councilor, Diosdado Lopez, joins Holyoke mayoral race

  • DIOSDADO LOPEZ

Staff Writer
Published: 6/29/2021 8:24:20 PM

HOLYOKE — Longtime former city councilor Diosdado Lopez has announced that he is running for mayor.

Lopez, 56, is the eighth candidate who has pulled papers to run for mayor in Holyoke. He served for 20 years as the Ward 2 councilor and was the first Latino elected to the City Council in 1991. After stepping down from the council in 2011, he was appointed in 2016 to serve as an at-large city councilor until 2017 to complete the term of Jennifer Chateauneuf, who had resigned.

“I saw so many folks and I said, ‘Well, why not? Let’s try one more time,’” Lopez said in an interview. “I want to be a mayor for the whole city of Holyoke — one Holyoke.”

Lopez said that his top priority would be public safety, and he said he would create a plan to deal with vacant lots and demolish or rebuild vacant buildings.

“I would like to work on the image of Holyoke and see if we can come up with a program to keep the city clean and do a little better,” Lopez said. “Keep the streets clean.”

As for the city’s schools, Lopez said he's running for mayor because he wants to be at the table with the state, who took over the district's schools in 2015, to work together to make improvements.

“Looking at the numbers and looking at how it’s improving, I would like to continue working with the state,” he said. “But there will be a point where I would like to see control back in the city. I’m hoping that we will be able to do that within the next five years.”

Lopez joins At-Large City Councilors Rebecca Lisi and Michael Sullivan, School Committee member Devin Sheehan, academic and educator Gloria Caballero Roca, Blandford Town Administrator Joshua Garcia and William Glidden, a former aide to previous mayor Alex Morse, as candidates running for mayor.  

City resident Christopher Kosinksi also has pulled nomination papers and returned them with enough signatures to be certified on the ballot, according to the city clerk’s office. Kosinksi does not appear to have publicly announced his candidacy yet.

Thus far, all of the candidates except Glidden and Lopez have secured enough signatures to appear on the ballot for the preliminary election on Sept. 21.

Asked about entering such a crowded field of candidates, Lopez said he is unconcerned. He said that there were five people running for the Ward 2 City Council seat when he ran for just his second term. 

“I think it’s important that as a mayor, I listen to every little detail, every single issue in the city,” he said. “Everything will be on the table, everything will be important. I just want to be a mayor for everyone. It’s not going to be easy.”

City residents can submit nomination papers until July 27. The last day to register to vote before the preliminary election is Sept. 1. 

The city will hold its general election on Nov. 2. Unlike in previous years, the candidate elected as mayor will immediately take office, replacing acting Mayor Terence Murphy, who took over for Morse earlier this year after Morse became the town manager of Provincetown.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

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