Alcombright Plans Run for Mayor of North AdamsBy Tammy Daniels
05:33PM / Monday, April 06, 2009
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — City Councilor Richard J. Alcombright is mounting a run for the city's top spot against Mayor John Barrett III, the state's longest serving mayor.
Alcombright, a senior vice president at Hoosac bank and Williamstown Savings banks, was appointed to the City Council in 2000 to serve out his late father's unexpired term and has been returned to the seat three times. He announced his intention to run in a brief e-mail to local media. He will formally announce at a press conference at his home on Tuesday morning.
Barrett is in his 13th two-year term. On Monday, he confirmed that he would stand for re-election even though he hasn't officially announced. "I've already had one fundraiser and I'll be doing other stuff."
Barrett said he would wait until after Alcombright's announcement Tuesday before commenting.
Alcombright, son of longtime City Councilor Daniel F. Alcombright Jr., was first elected in 2001. Three times he has outpolled his fellow candidates to be the voters' top choice. In 2007, he garnered 1,185 votes in a lackluster City Council race; Barrett, running unopposed, polled 1,096 votes.
Alcombright has also served on the McCann School Committee since 1991. In early 2008, he was expected — but never officially announced — a try for the 1st Berkshire seat that was to be vacated when by Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, took a job in the Patrick administration. Bosley, however, ended up turning down the position, crushing more than a few State House dreamers.
This will be the first race for mayor since Wal-Mart worker Walter Smith ran against Barrett in 2005, and potentially the first serious challenger since former City Councilor Paul Babeu ran against him for a second time in 2001.
Alcombright's move could mean at least two new faces on the City Council as veteran Councilor Clark Billings is not planning another run.
Former Councilor Christopher Tremblay has announced his intention to recapture the seat he lost last year and Brian Flagg, manager of Gala Restaurant at the Orchards and occasional iBerkshires sports writer, has returned nomination papers.