SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 19, 2013

Fishman shifts focus to local politics

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — As a candidate for Congress at this time last year, Daniel Fishman was debating issues like the war in Iraq and national health care.

This fall, he’s campaigning on the streets of Ryal Side, listening to complaints about speeding cars on Kernwood Avenue.

Fishman acknowledges that there’s a big difference between running for Congress and City Council, but maybe not in the way you’d think.

“Oddly enough, it’s actually been more intimidating running for City Council than for Congress,” he said. “When I was running for Congress, there was an incredible level of dissatisfaction with how the federal government has been running. Here, I’m running to fill the shoes of Maureen Troubetaris. There might be two of her, because everybody knows her.”

Fishman, who ran as a Libertarian in his unsuccessful bid for Congress, said he decided to run for City Council after the city adopted rules prohibiting the use of out-of-state driver’s licenses as identification when purchasing alcohol. He said the measure has hurt business at restaurants and liquor stores.

“When the government reacts like that, a knee-jerk reaction, it’s always a mistake,” he said.

Fishman grew up in Texas and has lived in Beverly with his wife, Eleanor, since 2003. He has worked as an assistant special education teacher and is now a senior software architect.

Fishman lives on Colgate Road in the Raymond Farms section of the city, not in Ryal Side, where most of Ward 1 is located. He acknowledges that is a “geographical disadvantage” in the race, but he also said he has “surprising name recognition” from his run for Congress.

“There are still some Republicans angry about Richard Tisei’s loss (to John Tierney) and blame me for it,” he said. “Others love the fact that you’re not a Republican or a Democrat. Name recognition in politics is always good.”

Fishman described the city as essentially a $106 million corporation, with the residents as the customers and city councilors as the corporate officers.

“We should be responsible to them,” he said. “I don’t want to be elected to lead people. People don’t need to be led. We should be more like shepherds, moving people in the direction that people want.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

ABOUT DANIEL FISHMAN