“I’d love to,” Tisei responds.
“I’m a Republican and I think we need a change and he is the perfect guy,” Aggelakis says later. “That’s what we need, some young blood.”
Tisei is challenging eight-term Democratic incumbent John Tierney in what has been one of the hardest fought and nastiest campaigns in the country.
Despite the vitriol that has colored this race, it’s mostly smiles from restaurant-goers this evening, who clearly weren’t expecting the cavalcade of press to join them as they ate their Thursday dinners.
Tisei makes the rounds, shaking hands, chit-chatting, and is received well — even by Democrats.
One woman, who declines to give her name because she isn’t supporting the Republican, greets Tisei warmly and even pronounces his name correctly — a large step from the early days of the race, Tisei says.
“I’m impressed,” he tells her.
One man, seeing the small entourage following Tisei, sarcastically asks if there is an election happening soon or something.
“If you’re voting for me, show up on Nov. 6th; if not show up on the 7th,” Tisei jokes.
Tisei has been out straight for months meeting voters, getting them to pronounce his name correctly and trying to build enough traction for the very difficult task of unseating an entrenched Democrat in a mostly blue district.
Earlier in the day, Tisei participated in a television debate with Tierney on WCVB that will air Sunday; prepared for another debate on Friday in Gloucester; met with a reporter for nearly an hour at his campaign headquarters in Lynnfield, and was slated to attend a fundraiser later Thursday evening. Every weekend he has two Town Hall-style discussions in communities around the district. That’s not to mention the countless businesses he’s toured, visits to the Topsfield Fair and other locales just to shake hands and meet people.