Mac Bell, the longtime Gloucester property owner, developer and businessman whose projects have included a previous attempt to redevelop the Birdseye site, is launching a run for mayor after taking out nomination papers on Monday and gathering the required 300 signatures he said he’s submitting by 5 p.m. today.
With his 11th-hour push for a spot on the city ballot, Bell would be the only challenger to three-term Mayor Carolyn Kirk in the November elections, and would deprive Kirk of breezing unopposed into a fourth term.
In a brief phone interview with the Times, Bell — sitting in the West End’s Caffe Sicilia after a day of collecting signatures on Main Street — said he decided to run to spark a discussion of the issues facing the city, and to give voters a choice at the polls.
Bell, whose business and development portfolio includes the so-called Chamber of Commerce building at 33 Commercial St. next door to the Birdseye and now Beauport Gloucester LLC property, the Gloucester Mill condominium complex on Maplewood Avenue, and the plaza that houses Walgreen’s and a number of other businesses between Main and Rogers streets.
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