BEVERLY — Brett Schetzsle greeted morning and evening commuters at the train station and knocked on doors in North Beverly. Jerry Parisella made last-minute phone calls to supporters and walked the neighborhoods of Centerville until dark.
As one of the most competitive Beverly state representative campaigns in years wound to a close yesterday, the two candidates made the most of the final moments before Election Day.
Schetzsle, a 33-year-old marketing manager looking to become the first Republican to win a state rep race in Beverly in 20 years, said the campaign has been exhausting — he managed to squeeze in a one-hour nap yesterday afternoon — but will ultimately be worth the effort.
"People are fired up," he said as he stood in the November cold at the Beverly depot last night. "People are ready for something different. They're tired of the way things are going on Beacon Hill, and they think I'm the right choice."
Parisella, a 47-year-old attorney, said he feels "cautiously optimistic" about today's outcome.
"You always wonder if you could do more, but I feel like I worked as much as I possibly could," he said after knocking on doors in Centerville. "Whatever happens, I feel like I can look back and say I put in a good, solid effort."
Parisella and Schetzsle are both first-time political candidates looking to replace Mary Grant, a Democrat who chose not to run for re-election after eight years in office.
Parisella is a Beverly native with deep roots in the city and a large extended family. He has touted his years of volunteer work in the community and his military service as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Tim Sullivan said he volunteered to work on Parisella's campaign because Parisella is his next-door neighbor and "a great guy."