By Jesse Roman Staff writer
The Salem News
---- — After thousands of handshakes, hundreds of ads and millions of dollars spent, it’s time for the candidates to let voters do the talking.
Polls opened across the district at 7 a.m. today and will remain open until 8 p.m.
Both Democratic incumbent John Tierney and Republican challenger Richard Tisei were out across the district yesterday stumping for every last vote in what is expected to be a very close election to decide the next congressman from the Massachusetts 6th District.
Tisei met with voters in Newburyport, Lynnfield, Beverly and Peabody and made several radio appearances.
Tierney began before 7 a.m. yesterday greeting voters at the Swampscott train station; lunched later with firefighters; and made stops in Nahant, Salem, Peabody, Lynn, North Reading, Saugus and Wakefield.
Hoping to help the Democrat’s cause, Gov. Deval Patrick paid a visit to Salem Democratic headquarters on Washington Street yesterday to pump up volunteers. In a fiery speech in front of a who’s who of North Shore politicians, Patrick told dozens of volunteers that “the American dream is on the table in this election,” and President Barack Obama “needs partners” in Washington “willing to come together and solve problems for the common good.”
“This president needs (U.S. Senate candidate) Elizabeth Warren, this president needs John Tierney,” Patrick said. “We need Elizabeth Warren, and we need John Tierney.”
“Let’s tomorrow celebrate the start of the work that lies ahead. Now get going,” he told volunteers.
Warren’s opponent, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, paid a visit to Tisei’s campaign headquarters in Lynnfield yesterday morning to rally supporters there. Tisei estimates that he’ll have as many as 500 volunteers on the ground today holding signs outside polling places, calling voters and driving people to the polls. About 60 volunteers showed up to a phone bank yesterday to remind supporters to get out and vote.
Tisei will be making the rounds today in West Peabody, Salem, Lynn, Reading, North Andover and several other spots around the district.
“I will be out all day until 8,” he said.
The Democratic headquarters in Salem has also been buzzing.
“Many folks in this room feel like they’ve been sleeping here,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said. “Whether you have five minutes or five hours, we’re putting people to work.”
As the brutal and grinding campaign comes to a close, both Tierney and Tisei like their odds.
Tierney, who has represented the district in Congress the last 16 years, said he is happy with the campaign he has run and complimented his staff and the volunteers.
“I’m feeling good; people are energized,” Tierney said. “We are ready for Election Day. We’ve got a plan in place, it’s just a matter of executing. We’ve done it before, and I’m confident we can do it again.”
Tisei, who met at least 4,000 people over the weekend at various events, said, “There are so many things you hear on the ground level about what’s going on and what people are thinking, and I think things are going pretty well. ...
“I feel like I’ve left no stone unturned. I have done everything physically possible the last 11 months to meet as many people as I can. I will sleep well tonight,” he said yesterday. “It’s in the hands of the voters.”