PEABODY — Peabody’s Republican state Rep. Leah Cole’s first run for office in a special election last spring was financed primarily by people and groups outside the city. As we move into the 2014 election year, a majority of her donations continue to come from outside of Peabody, but she has increasing support from within the city. In filings with the secretary of state, Cole lists 24 Peabody donors out of 58 in total.
The largest donation, $500, comes from Lexington resident James Green, who is also chief operating officer of Peabody-based Analogic Corporation. Second place at $200 goes to Joel Solimine of Lynn’s Solimine Funeral Home, who has personal ties to the Cole family.
Also included on her list are familiar Peabody names like GOP activist John McCarthy ($25), Licensing Board Chairman Minas Dakos ($25), former school board member Suzanne Borin ($100) and former library trustee Margaret Tierney ($20), a cousin to Congressman John Tierney, a Salem Democrat.
Cole reported a balance of $2,899 in cash on hand at the end of 2013. She has said it’s likely she will run for re-election. Also expressing an interest in the job has been City Councilor Barry Osborne and, according to media reports, school board member Beverley Griffin Dunne, who ran in last year’s special election.
Cole was mistaken when she told the News she was the youngest member of the House on Beacon Hill. We know this because Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik, D-Gardner, promptly called the News Tuesday to declare, “I am the youngest member of the House.”
Zlotnik is 23, Cole 25.
“I’m assuming it was just a mistake,” he said, “because she came in after me.” Zlotnik got his job in 2012, shortly after graduation from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. (And your kid is still at McDonald’s.) He did confirm Cole’s remarks regarding a “youth caucus” for lawmakers.