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November 6, 2012

Speliotis tops Bennett again in state rep race

DANVERS — Democratic state Rep. Ted Speliotis has once again fended off a challenge from Republican Danvers Selectman Dan Bennett in the only contested state representative race on the North Shore.

Speliotis won in a district that can often lean to the right. Unlike the 2010 race, the vote totals were not close.

How the North Shore Voted: House of Representatives, 13th Essex District

“I’m very happy,” Speliotis said in an interview. “I think that really the numbers are better than I even expected because I know how difficult it is, I know how difficult a district I represent, I’m fortunate,” Speliotis said. “I think the vote shows that we did what we had to do. I said at the beginning of the campaign that this is an opportunity to explain to the voters what we did over the past two years, and we did that.”

Speliotis, who has roots in Peabody and whose family moved to Danversport when he was 10, has represented the 13th Essex District since 1997. He triumphed over Bennett despite the addition in the district of a precinct in Middleton, a town that normally leans Republican. According to Speliotis’ aide, Bill Bates, the town voted down the line for Republicans on Tuesday, with the exception of Speliotis.

Speliotis, 59, said hard work and a grass-roots campaign paid off in Middleton.

“I think since it was the first time it’s been in the district, for this particular election. ... I think we did a very effective job of introducing ourselves in the town,” Speliotis said, “but like I said, there is a long way for them to get to know me better.”

Bennett, in the days leading up to the election, had even passed out a postcard to voters in Middleton picturing him standing with state Rep. Brad Hill, R-Ipswich, who, because of redistricting, has a district that no longer includes this portion of Middleton.

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