After sixteen years in office, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy announced on March 1 that she will be running for a fifth term in November 2020, per a March 1 Waltham Wicked Local article. 

In 2017, McCarthy had announced that she would not be seeking re-election. She gave no explanation for this, per a July 17, 2017 Wicked Local article, but said she would continue “to work diligently … and finish a multitude of projects” during her final term. Now, she claims that she is seeking re-election because “no one has stepped forward to lead the city,” per the March 1 article. 

In the announcement, McCarthy blamed city council leadership for stalling ongoing city projects and reaffirmed her commitment to finishing them. According to the article, McCarthy is focused on infrastructure projects and building anew high school, saying she feels it would be “unfair to leave [the Waltham residents] with all this stuff hanging,” especially the new school. McCarthy has been working on creating a new Waltham High School building for a few years, per a Feb. 1 Wicked Local article, and believes it is a worthwhile expense. Now, the school project has a page on her campaign website, making it a key part of her push to continue in office.

This is not the first time McCarthy has flip-flopped on re-election. During her initial campaign in 2003, she said she would not seek mayorship more than twice, per the July 17 Wicked Local article. She also claimed to be done before her fourth term, but then defeated Rep. Tom Stanley in 2015, per the same article.