Dunne stressed her intention, if elected, to follow Spiliotis’ example in keeping close touch with Peabody officials and always determining what activities on Beacon Hill best suit the city. Having fielded a lot of supportive calls, she promised an energetic winter campaign. “I’ll be wearing out boots instead of shoes.”
Gravel, meanwhile, already had his papers by afternoon. “I’ve formed a committee,” he said. “I’m going to be holding a kick-off event on Jan. 25.” Gravel laughed when it was noted that he will have to have his signatures back before the kick-off. “I was surprised to see the date come so early,” he said.
Unenrolled, Gravel will be running as an independent. That likely assures him a place on the final ballot but could deny him the support of members of the majority party. If elected, he said, “I would obviously caucus with the Democrats.” He was a party member until recently.
Former ward councilor Jim Moutsoulas described himself as just about ready to throw his hat in the ring. “I’m interested in the job,” he said. “I’m putting a committee together. That’s what I have been doing for the past month. And I will make an announcement shortly.”
He added that he was confident of raising enough money to be competitive.
Another potential candidate, with a citywide victory under her belt, is at-large City Councilor Anne Manning-Martin. In fact, Manning-Martin ran for the seat against Spiliotis a decade ago, losing in a tight, hard-fought race.
Currently, she has not decided to give it another try. “I am humbled by the number of calls, texts and emails I’ve gotten encouraging me to run,” she said. “Some of them from well-known power brokers. ... It’s a good feeling.” Stressing her intention to put the people of Peabody first, Manning-Martin notes that she has a campaign organization and is confident she could get operational at short notice.