Will Setti Warren Run for Governor?

The Newton mayor isn't running for re-election, leading to speculation about Beacon Hill aspirations.

Democratic Newton Mayor Setti Warren speaks to supporters during a campaign event in Newton, Mass., Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Warren, who announced his candidacy on Monday for the U.S. senate seat currently held by Scott Brown, is currently serving his first term as the first popularly elected black mayor in Massachusetts. He is also an Iraq War veteran and a former staff member for Sen. John Kerry. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Photo via AP

It would mean taking on one of the most popular politicians in the country, but Newton Mayor Setti Warren may be on the path to challenge Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018.

Warren, a Democrat, announced on Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election next year, but didn’t offer any hints as to his next step.

“I am making this announcement now to give our community an adequate amount of time to select the next mayor, and I look forward to the coming year as I continue to serve the city through the end of my term,” he said in a statement, adding, “I will always be dedicated to public service and to our community.” 

But given that he’s often mentioned as a possible contender on Beacon Hill, there is speculation he has his eye on the governorship.

“There’s no coincidences in politics, and the timing aligns perfectly for him, were he to want to run for governor,” Democratic strategist Scott Ferson tells the Herald. “It makes perfect sense. … He served in the military, he’s young. He’s sort of a new generation, if you will, of names.”

The 46-year-old Iraq War veteran has been mayor since 2009. He previously ran for a U.S. Senate seat, but that position ultimately went to the state’s other, better-known politician who shares his last name.

As the Herald notes, Warren has significantly less money to spend on a potential campaign, and would have a lot of fundraising to do. He has about $27,341 to Baker’s $4.3 million.

The race to replace him is already starting. The president of Newton’s City Council, Scott Lennon, and Councilor Ruthanne Fuller, are both planning on running, according to the Globe.

Here is his announcement, in full: