Tuesday, May 28, 2024

City councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, seen in January 2019. (Photo: Joshua Qualls)

Mayor Marc McGovern said he is not campaigning for reelection for that role in the coming term, and is instead throwing his support behind councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, who will be entering her second term. He plans to focus on continuing work as a councillor in his third term, he said.

Marc McGovern


“Over and above her tremendous results in the past two elections, I believe her deep connections to the community, commitment to our most vulnerable and the leadership she has shown on the council are the ingredients for an excellent mayor,” McGovern said in a letter posted Thursday. “I also believe that as our city and schools continue to address issues of race in our community, having a mayor who can see these issues through a personal lens … will be vitally important to these conversations.”

Siddiqui was contacted for comment Thursday but did not immediately reply.

Cambridge’s mayor is elected from among the nine city councillors elected in November and also leads the School Committee. The votes for mayor can begin at the council’s inaugural meeting – this year scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday – as soon as oaths are sworn. The voting can be swift, or take many ballots to find resolution. In 2010 and 2012, for instance, it took until late February for a mayor to be elected, after six and 10 ballots, respectively.

“While I am eager to carry on my work, I have decided to throw my support behind my colleague and friend Sumbul Siddiqui,” McGovern said in the letter.

Siddiqui was the only councillor elected in the first round of Cambridge’s ranked-choice voting in November elections, surpassing quota with 2,516 first-round votes.

Among her most prominent stands in the past term was her role in advancing development of East Cambridge’s former courthouse. In September, she cast the deciding vote on granting parking spots needed for reuse of the structure, extracting more than the expected level of concessions out of developer Leggat McCall Properties: a doubling of affordable housing units to 48; a reduction in the number of parking spots requested; and another $3.5 million for the Affordable Housing Trust, for a total of $8 million.