SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 21, 2013

Griffin Dunne: 'I care deeply about Peabody'

Editor’s note: The following is the second in a series of articles profiling Peabody’s state representative candidates.

PEABODY — In the past, the Democratic nomination for state representative in Peabody was the equivalent of victory. But not this year, and nominee Beverley Ann Griffin Dunne is leaving no doubts about her loyalty to the party.

On April 2, Griffin Dunne, 55, will face off in a special election against two opponents, Republican Leah Cole and the unenrolled former Democrat (and pledged-to-be-Democrat again) Dave Gravel.

Reminded that the last three Democratic speakers of the Massachusetts House were indicted and convicted of crimes, Griffin Dunne expresses confidence in the party she hopes to join on Beacon Hill.

“I don’t believe there’ll be any problems supporting Speaker (Robert) DeLeo,” she says. “I will support him as I will any member of the party.”

On the other hand, she acknowledges past examples of corruption.

“It’s very unfortunate,” she said. “It discourages many people. I think we have rules we need to follow. The rules are in place to protect the public.” Those who broke the rules, she noted, “are paying the price.”

Likewise, she dismisses the leadership’s supposed reputation for restricting how members vote and speak. Citing her experience in Peabody politics, Griffin Dunne declares, “My experience with the School Committee and in city politics shows me you are able to speak your mind and people will respect you.”

Her allegiance to party may extend to Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to raise nearly $2 billion in taxes for projects including high-speed rail.

“I think his plan is — it’s very far-reaching. It would definitely help us to modernize our state and our services. I have great concerns because of the tax burden on our people.”

Asked if she would support Patrick’s tax increase, she indicates that study is required. “I don’t know yet.”

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