BEVERLY — State representative candidates Brett Schetzsle and Jerry Parisella are not only trying to convince voters they'll be the best man for the job. Now they're sparring over just how much time they will devote to it.
In a campaign mailing last week, Republican Schetzsle said voters would be choosing a "part-time" legislator if they vote for Democrat Parisella because Parisella plans to continue working as an attorney for a Beverly law firm.
The campaign literature says Parisella would treat the job of state representative as a "$62,000 part-time gig."
"I don't understand how you can tell voters and taxpayers that you're going to take a full-time salary from them but only work part time," Schetzsle said in an interview.
Parisella acknowledged that he would continue to work at the Alexander & Femino law firm if he is elected on Nov. 2. But he said he would "scale back" his law practice and make the state representative job "my No. 1 priority."
He said he will give up his job as a part-time city solicitor for the city of Salem. He will remain in the Army Reserves, where he is an officer and military lawyer. The Reserves requires a commitment of one weekend per month and two weeks of annual training, he said.
"I will be available to the residents of Beverly whenever they need to talk to me and will also ensure I am at the Statehouse as often as necessary to effectively represent Beverly," Parisella said in an e-mail.
Parisella called Schetzsle "hypocritical" for criticizing him while praising U.S. Sen. Scott Brown's work in the state Legislature while Brown had his own law practice.
"Did my opponent ever criticize Scott Brown?," Parisella said. "Of course not. This is just typical negative campaigning that has never been appreciated by the residents of Beverly."