New Bedford Zoning Board of Appeals member Leo Choquette announced on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight that he is once again running for Ward 1 City Councilor. He presumably will challenge incumbent Ward 1 City Councilor Brad Markey, who has not yet announced if he is seeking re-election.

Choquette has been a New Bedford resident since 2009. He graduated from UMass School of Law in 2013 with a Juris Doctor and currently works as a wealth manager for Wealth Management Resource Group.

Choquette came up just short in the 2021 election against Markey, losing by only 44 votes. He believed the margin was small enough to ask for a recount in that election.

Since then, Choquette said he has been very active in the community.

"I really haven't stopped campaigning per se," he said.

Choquette said he's running on a platform of constituent services. He has been working with the leaders of the Bullard Street Neighborhood Association, which is a forum typically held for Ward 2 and Ward 3 residents of the city, to incorporate members of the Ward 1 neighborhoods as well.

"I want to get people's voices heard, and that I've done a fairly good job of getting more Ward 1 residents out," Choquette said.

Choquette highlighted that during his time on the Zoning Board of Appeals, he voted against the proposed methadone clinic in New Bedford's downtown. Months later, executives of the company that proposed the methadone clinic were indicted charges of fraud.

Choquette also serves as a member of the Board of Directors at PACE, which oversees a lot of the government assistance programing such as Head Start and fuel assistance.

On the three ballot questions proposed by the New Bedford City Council asking residents if they'd like to repeal the four-year mayoral term, opt out of funding in for the Community Preservation Act, and whether or not they support rent stabilization, Choquette said he would vote against all three of them.

He said that the voters have already spoke on the four-year mayoral term, that the Community Preservation Act gives taxpayers a major return on investment, and that rent control is too complicated of a policy to put on the ballot for an up or down vote.

"I think they are kind of punting this to the voters," he said. "The City government has to do the job they were elected to do, which should be determining legislation and coming up with ideas to address these three issues."

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