Councilman Mark Morehead confirmed Friday afternoon that he is running for mayor in the Nov. 26 special election.

His nominating petition was verified by city officials Friday, making Morehead one of seven candidates who have been certified. The deadline to file is Monday at 5 p.m.

Morehead, who was elected to council in 2011 and re-elected earlier this year, said he has long considered a run for mayor.

“It was something I was always going to do, but I didn’t expect Vance to retire early,” Morehead said.

He noted that he held off announcing his run until Deputy Mayor Jerry Clifton decided whether he would run. Clifton announced earlier this month that he would not.

“I wanted to give him time to decide and become comfortable with that decision,” he said.

Morehead, a 54-year-old resident of Swallow Circle, said that, if elected, his main goal would be increasing transparency in city government.

“Newark has been run for a long time with the administration leading,” he said. “Council is meant to be the check and balance. We’re working toward reaching that balance, but there’s more work to be done.”

Morehead will face Donald DelCollo, Jr., Robyn Harland, Rebecca Powers, Amy Roe, Polly Sierer and Matthew Vento. All six announced their plans to run several weeks ago.

“It’s a matter of who the residents would like to represent them,” Morehead said, noting that he does not think his late entry into the race will hurt his candidacy. “While it’s later, the residents have seen me in a similar role. I’m more familiar than some of the folks.”

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