Reporter Ethan Forman spent time this week campaigning with the candidates for state representative in the 13th Essex District, which includes all of Danvers; Ward 6 and Ward 5, Precinct 2 in Peabody; and Precinct 2 in Middleton. This is the first of two stories.
DANVERS — Ted Speliotis loves retail politics.
He likes to get out, be seen, chat with residents and spread the word about his campaign, one voter at a time.
And that’s just what the Democratic state representative was doing on a recent afternoon — talking with neighbors, dealing with barking dogs, and at one point shrugging off a cold stare as he went door to door dropping his literature.
At most of the houses Speliotis visits, no one is home, but that’s OK with him. He just keeps moving and dropping.
The idea, he explains, is simply to leave his campaign flier at as many homes as possible. He carries with him a blue and white, two-sided door hanger that pictures him with his granddaughter. The ad lists his accomplishments: a 26 percent increase in local aid for the town, $11.3 million in the state budget to cover homeless student transportation, and his work on the Right to Repair Bill as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.
The often-chatty Speliotis makes it a point to speak with whomever he meets. But today is not meant for door knocking; he does that on weekends, when more people are at home. And he does that alone, without any supporters tagging along, “because that’s the heart and soul of a campaign, that’s what gives you a chance to really get to know people.”
He even has a method to his literature dropping: He heads straight to the back door, as people rarely use the front anymore. While his flier is designed to hang from the doorknob, Speliotis prefers to wedge it in the screen door so the wind won’t take it.