The Salem News
---- — Note: The original version of this piece incorrectly put Topsfield in the 13th Essex District. It has been corrected.
While there are plenty of contested races higher up the ballot, most of the North Shore’s legislators are running for re-election unopposed. An exception is the 13th Essex District, where incumbent Democrat Ted Speliotis is facing a challenge from Republican Dan Bennett, a Danvers selectman.
Speliotis has our endorsement in this rematch of the 2010 election. The incumbent has been particularly effective this term. Most impressive was his work to secure $11.3 million in the state budget to help cover the costs of homeless student transportation, a key issue in Danvers, the central community in the district, which also includes Precinct 2 in Middleton and Peabody’s Ward 6 and Ward 5, Precinct 2.
As House chairman of the Committee on Licensure and Professional Oversight, it was Speliotis who helped work out a deal on the so-called Right to Repair bill, which gives smaller auto repair shops access to diagnostic codes that large vehicle manufacturers used to keep to themselves. The increase in competition will almost certainly save consumers money. Peabody voters should appreciate his efforts to bring the need for state involvement in building a new Higgins Middle School to the attention of Steve Grossman, who as state treasurer oversees the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
Speliotis has forged a reputation as one of the hardest-working members of the House. We may not agree with every position he takes, but we respect his attentiveness to his district and his willingness to take unpopular votes.
With the retirement of longtime Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry of Peabody, the North Shore will need the kind of clout on Beacon Hill represented by experienced representatives like Speliotis. He has earned our endorsement.