“The important thing is going out and showing your friends that you are out there working and meeting new people,” he said. “You can’t expect a vote unless you can touch someone — touching meaning they have to get to know you.”
Last Monday, Speliotis was not alone in canvassing the neighborhoods in and around Danversport. At 3:30 p.m., he met with a group of 19 supporters, some with children in tow, in the parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Goods near the Liberty Tree Mall. Standing in the back of his pickup truck, Speliotis passed out signs, brochures, “Dear friend” cards and literature.
Among those in attendance were Jim Liacos, president of the Peabody City Council; Danvers River Committee Chairwoman Aileen L’Abbe and committee members Joan George and former Selectman Bill Nicholson; former Selectman Martha Swindell; Town Meeting member Sandra Lane; and others. Speliotis’ daughter, Ashley, 29, was on hand, too, as she is running his campaign.
“I think that he does a good job,” said L’Abbe, a staunch supporter. “I think he should be re-elected. He knows what he is doing.
“He’s a Democrat, most of all,” she added with a chuckle.
Speliotis is one of the most senior lawmakers on Beacon Hill, and with the retirement of Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry, he will be one of the longest-serving on the North Shore if he wins re-election. He served in the Legislature from 1979 to 1988 and again from 1997 to now.
He is not above getting out or stuffing envelopes, he says.
For the second time in two years, he is facing a challenge from Republican Dan Bennett, a town selectman who decided at the last minute to run as a write-in candidate in the primary to get his name on the Nov. 6 ballot. It is the only contested state representative race on the North Shore this year. Speliotis narrowly beat Bennett last time. This time around, Speliotis said, an eight-month campaign of organizing, envelope stuffing and literature dropping has been compressed into eight weeks.