Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is expected to announce today that he will not seek a sixth term in November, newspapers in the city reported.
Menino, 70, was elected in 1993 and has overseen commercial and residential redevelopment, including a Seaport District dotted with cranes. He’s also a fixture in neighborhoods and his public schedule can include half a dozen events in a day.
In recent months, illness has slowed him. He was hospitalized in late October for eight weeks. Ailments included blood clots, type 2 diabetes and an acute respiratory infection, according to the Boston Globe. At the end of January, he walked with a cane to make his annual state of the city address and, this week, he had trouble climbing the stairs at a gay-rights event.
“It’s a very difficult decision,” Menino told the Boston Herald in an interview. “It’s a hard decision — the hardest in my career, the hardest of my life.”
“There have been a lot of unsolicited calls, people saying, ‘You have to stay,’” he said. “How do you say no to that? But I have to do what’s best for Boston and for me.”
He would leave office with a 74 percent approval rating, according to a Boston Globe poll released yesterday. The same poll found that 60 percent found his health to be a “concern.”
Menino is co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
Menino has scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference at Faneuil Hall near City Hall.
The announcement would create the first open mayoral seat in Boston since 1983. Candidates must file papers by May for the November election.