SALEM — In the days after her lopsided victory in the Democratic primary, Salem City Councilor Joan Lovely took some time to relax and unwind. But that didn’t last long.
“We’re back at it,” Lovely said this week, speaking from her campaign headquarters on Jefferson Street. “We’ll have the same intensity as we did in the primary.”
Lovely beat out former Peabody state Rep. John Slattery and Governor’s Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning to win the Democratic primary Sept. 6, and now faces a general election race against Republican Richard Jolitz.
Jolitz, an EMT from Beverly, did not have a Republican challenger in the primary.
Objective observers have questioned whether Jolitz is a serious candidate, and whether he can mount much opposition given the 2nd Essex District’s Democratic leanings. Campaign filings reveal that Jolitz has not raised any money, and he was virtually invisible during the primary season. He skipped the lone debate he was invited to, which was hosted by Salem Access Television.
Jolitz did not return numerous phone calls seeking an interview, and it’s not clear if the Republican has any intention of running a race.
Lovely has largely put her career as a lawyer on hold to focus on the campaign full time. Despite her massive head start and many expectations that the general election is a mere formality, Lovely has made it clear that she isn’t mailing it in.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Lovely said of the Jolitz campaign, “but our focus will be on what we need to do.”
Lovely has about 300 volunteers, her campaign estimates. They will make phone calls to get out the vote Nov. 6, as they did in the primary, she said. As was her strategy during the primary, Lovely will also continue to knock on doors across the district, which includes Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield.