SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

October 20, 2012

2 vie for seat on Governor's Council

Two candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot you might not know, Eileen Duff and Maura Ciardiello, are running for an office, the Governor’s Council, that you might know nothing about.

But both women are working hard to change that, and hopefully get elected to the statewide council.

“I tell my friends I’m running for Governor’s Council and they say, ‘Oh, that’s great. .... What’s that?’” Duff said. “I say it’s the most important thing you’ve never heard of.”

The eight-member Governor’s Council has the responsibility of vetting and confirming the governor’s appointment of judges and other judiciary officials. It also acts on issues such as payments from the state treasury and criminal pardons and commutations.

The council meets briefly each Wednesday at the Statehouse. Members are paid $26,025 a year and receive health insurance benefits, travel expenses, a Beacon Hill parking space and creditable service toward a state pension.

Duff, a Democrat, and Ciardiello, a Republican, have a stunning amount in common aside from their gender. Both come from political families — Duff’s father, Paul Duff, served on the Peabody City Council and once ran for mayor. Ciardiello’s father, William Ryan, is the former mayor of Haverhill and a current city councilor.

Neither candidate is a lawyer or has a legal background. Neither has run for public office before. Both have attended Cambridge College. Both are eager to serve.

This year’s election is particularly interesting because there is an open seat for the first time in more than a decade. Current councilor Mary-Ellen Manning stepped down to run an ultimately unsuccessful state Senate campaign this fall.

The 5th District has also changed dramatically since the 2010 election. Each of the eight Governor’s Council districts is composed of five contiguous Massachusetts Senate districts. After the 2010 census, the Legislature changed the 5th Governor’s Council District by cutting out the 3rd Essex Senatorial District (Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, Swampscott) and adding instead the 1st Middlesex Senatorial District (Dunstable, Groton, Lowell, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, Westford).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Election

Local News
  • State sets tax holiday BOSTON -- Shoppers will get a holiday from the state sales tax on Aug. 16 and 17, after state lawmakers finally agreed on a weekend. The tax-free holiday has been an annual event since 2004, with the exception of 2009, when the state raised the sales

    August 1, 2014

  • crab Little green invaders threatening local clam flats IPSWICH -- The green crab is eating our lunch. It's been eating its way through Northeastern shellfish for years, and some local experts are worried that the undersized crustacean, about 31/2 to 4 inches across, has reached critical mass. The creatur

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shoppers1 Despite shopping elsewhere, Market Basket customers remain loyal

    SALEM -- Local Market Basket customers can't hold out any longer as the company continues to weigh offers to buy the chain, including one from ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. "I'm very proud of the employees and customers who have been holding out," s

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos 4 Stories

  • 140731_SN_DLE_APARTMENT6 Developer unveils new Peabody Square apartments PEABODY -- It's an indication of what he and his business partners want to do in the city's downtown, Norman Lee said Thursday as he showed off the stylish interiors of 10 brand-new apartments above Congressman John Tierney's office in Peabody Square

    August 1, 2014 10 Photos

  • Scandal raises questions about speaker's powers BOSTON -- The speaker of the state House of Representatives gets far-reaching powers to carve up the budget, control which bills advance, dole out committee chairmanships and reward favored lawmakers with plum office space on Beacon Hill. But the spe

    August 1, 2014