HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – After 10 years in office, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse announced Tuesday that he will not be running for re-election in November of 2021.
Morse made the announcement in a news release Tuesday morning, in which he talked about the accomplishments he is most proud of, including economic development, environmental and public health improvements, and engaging more city residents in the political process.
“Think about what we have been able to achieve. Think of the neighborhoods that have seen record levels of new investment. Think of the parks we’ve renovated and the new parks we’ve built and the families who now get to enjoy them. Think of all the new housing completed and in progress. Think of the Holyokers from all different backgrounds and walks of life who got involved in the civic life of our community for the first time,” Morse wrote.
Morse made national headlines when he was first elected in 2011 at the age of 22. In addition to being the city’s youngest mayor and one of the youngest mayors nationwide at the time, Morse is also Holyoke’s first openly gay mayor. He was re-elected in 2013, 2015, and 2017, when the city moved to four-year mayoral terms for the first time.
More recently, Morse ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts’ First Congressional District, losing to incumbent Congressman Richard Neal in the September primary.
However, now he said it’s time for new voices and perspectives to be heard.
Morse told 22News about his remaining goals in his last year as mayor, “Hopefully advance conversations around public schools and be in a better position to construct a middle school in our community as well as some reform here in our city hall in terms of finance departments, but I want to continue to give back to my community, country and lead with values I’ve always been driven by.”
Morse did not say what would be next for him after leaving office, but added that in the remaining year of his term, he will continue to lead the city through the COVID-19 emergency, and work to keep the city in as strong a position as possible for the next mayor.