, Salem, MA

Local News

November 3, 2012

Speliotis has ties to Peabody and Danvers

SPELIOTIS: JFK's influence a motivator


When Speliotis was 10, his father built a house on Appleton Street in Danversport. Speliotis likes to joke that if his father had not moved to town, he would not have had a political career. He describes himself as a shy kid who never ran for student government at Danvers High, from which he graduated in 1971. However, when the voting age was lowered to 18, he and a friend got elected to Town Meeting.

Two things shaped his desire to become a state representative.

Right after Speliotis’ family moved to Danvers, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

“We were dismissed from school and that weekend everything came to a stop,” said Speliotis, who is now 59. He remembers being glued to the television set all weekend.

“All I could think of was, wow, if such a big deal could be made out of one person, imagine all the things that person can do,” Speliotis said. “And, that was what really motivated me.”

Another motivator was his seventh-grade U.S. history teacher named Ed Quinn, who took a liking to Speliotis. The teacher even put him on stage to represent the seventh grade in a debate on the Middle East, Speliotis recalls.

In the summers during college, Speliotis landed a job with the National Park Service, first working at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, then at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York after he graduated. Speliotis worked as a school coordinator and wrote lesson plans for local school groups.

In 1977, Speliotis left New York for the North Shore to run for office in 1978.

After redistricting, his home wound up in a district in which 80 percent of the vote came from Peabody and three precincts were in Danvers. He was outspent, but hustled and managed to beat Charlie O’Donnell in the Democratic primary. He later beat Republican and former longtime Peabody City Councilor Frank Wiggin in the general election.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Comments Tracker