SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

October 31, 2012

Campaigning with Dan Bennett

Reporter Ethan Forman spent time last 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 second of two stories.

DANVERS — Having the skills of a real estate broker has come in handy for Selectman Dan Bennett, the Republican challenger for state representative for the second time in two years.

Bennett, the owner of the Dan Bennett Real Estate just off Danvers Square, knows a thing or two about building signs. And in this shortened campaign season, he knows he will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting himself.

“I don’t have paid staff,” he noted.

So, on a busy morning last week, Bennett was heading out to put up a sign at the corner of Vineyard and Maple streets (Route 62) after a friend called him with a simple request: “‘I want the biggest sign you have on my lawn.”

Unfortunately, one of his largest, a 3-by-6-footer with his picture on it, had been “altered” when someone drew a mustache on his face as it stood on Water Street. So Bennett took it down, cut the picture off and took the smaller sign to his friend’s home.

He also brought along some metal poles, a post driver, a cordless electric drill and some blocks of wood he used to attach the sign to the poles.

Bennett and his supporters have been out trying to reach voters throughout the district, in Danvers, West Peabody and Middleton, organizing teams to drop literature.

Like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Bennett is running a no-huddle offense, having jumped into the race at the last minute with a successful write-in campaign to get on the Republican primary ballot. The move triggered the only race for state representative on the North Shore, between Bennett and Democratic incumbent Ted Speliotis, two men who grew up in Danvers and graduated from Danvers High.

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