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May 18—LAWRENCE — Five months into his job as acting mayor of Lawrence, Kendrys Vasquez has gotten comfortable enough to pull papers and run for a full term.
On Tuesday, Vasquez visited City Hall's election division to confirm he is officially running for mayor, just hours after formalizing the Campaign to Elect Kendrys Vasquez with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Vasquez is the fourth candidate to announce an intention to run for Lawrence mayor. Should all candidates that have pulled papers return the signatures necessary to appear on the ballot, Vilma Martinez-Dominguez, Brian DePena and former Mayor William Lantigua will join Vasquez to face off during a Sept. 21 primary election.
Vasquez, who is kicking off his campaign more than a month after his challengers, did not state a party affiliation on the paperwork he submitted to OCPF.
The Nov. 2 municipal election will be the first election since former Mayor Daniel Rivera departed the city for a state job at MassDevelopment.
City councilors opted to hold the municipal election in November rather than host a special election, given Rivera's departure from office with less than a year left in his final term. Two Lawrence residents, Dalia Diaz and Modesto Maldonado, brought suit against the City Council in Superior Court trying to contest the decision, but were denied in late January.
All three current mayoral challengers are familiar faces to Lawrence residents. Former two-term city councilor at-large DePena was the first to pull papers to run for mayor, election officials said. DePena currently owns DePena Auto Services and Tenares Tire Services.
Lantigua served four terms as a state representative representing the 16th Essex District before taking office as Lawrence mayor in 2010. Lantigua lost a bid for a second term to Rivera in 2013 and lost his bid to regain the House seat in 2014 and again in 2018, both times to current state Rep. Marcos Devers.
Martinez-Dominguez currently works as the city's community development director and came to the city after a long stint at the YWCA. According to her campaign, it has raised more than $100,000. Martinez-Dominguez has also been endorsed by Rivera.
IMPORTANT ELECTION DATES TO REMEMBER
Aug. 3: Last day to submit nomination papers.
Sept. 1: Last day to register to vote in the primary election.
Sept. 15: Last day to submit an absentee ballot application request for primary.
Sept. 21: Primary election, polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Oct. 13: Last day to register to vote in city election.
Oct. 27: Last day to submit an absentee ballot application request for city election.
Nov. 2: Municipal election, polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.