Speliotis serves in a powerful position on Beacon Hill as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, which helped broker a compromise on the Right to Repair legislation that gives access to consumers and local auto shops. That work on that issue and others was recognized by voters, Speliotis said.
“It’s a wipeout,” Bennett said, standing in the kitchen of his home on Page Street surrounded by supporters and family shortly after 8 p.m. Bennett, 62, a self-employed real estate broker, was an unlikely candidate this year, given that he entered the race at the last minute, running a sticker campaign in the Sept. 6 primary to get his name on the general election ballot. This condensed a normally eight-month campaign into eight weeks.
In 2010, fewer than 500 votes separated Speliotis and Bennett, as Speliotis survived a wave of anti-incumbent fervor favoring Republicans and an open revolt from some members of the Danvers Board of Selectmen.
This time, Speliotis beat Bennett in Danvers 8,605 to 5,372 in unofficial results. It was a margin of victory of 62 percent to 38 percent. Speliotis won in all precincts in town. Turnout in Danvers was heavy, with nearly 77 percent of the town’s 18,965 voters turning out.
According to numbers posted by Speliotis’ campaign, Precinct 2 in Middleton broke big Speliotis’ way, 1,176 to 925. Speliotis also won in West Peabody, with Ward 6 casting 3,241 votes for Speliotis and 1,627 votes for Bennett. Speliotis also won in Ward 5, Precinct 2, in West Peabody by 957-366.
Speliotis thanked those at a gathering at the Polish Club in Danversport who worked on his campaign, saying that there was more work to be done on such issues as the housing of homeless in budget motels as temporary shelter.
Bennett threw himself into the campaign after declining to run for the Republican nomination due to selectman and commitments to the Kiwanis.