SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

June 28, 2013

Benton: Good showing by Gomez

He didn’t have the name recognition of a Scott Brown or Charlie Baker, but Republican Gabriel Gomez acquitted himself well in the campaign that ended Tuesday with the election of Malden Congressman Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Markey’s win gives the Bay State an all-Democratic, left-leaning congressional delegation and is further evidence of the ability the party and its union allies to get out the vote. They dropped the ball back in January 2010 when Brown surprised the world by beating Martha Coakley in the special election for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, but they’re determined not to let something like that happen again.

Thus, the Grand Old Party in Massachusetts has a lot of organizational work ahead. On the other hand, should Democrats get carried away with their recent successes and see the improving economy as an excuse to boost government spending and increase taxes, it may well give voters pause to consider if they are really best served by a one-party system of government.

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David Eppley, one of three announced candidates for the Ward 4 seat on the Salem City Council, used the special election as a launching pad for his first bid for public office. He was at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School much of the day Tuesday handing out pamphlets and reminding voters to return for the preliminary and final municipal elections to be held this fall.

He and members of his team will be marching in Saturday’s North Shore Pride Parade, which begins at 11:30 a.m. in downtown Salem.

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Meanwhile, Ward 6 Councilor Paul Prevey, having apparently abandoned any thought of taking on Mayor Kim Driscoll, has launched his bid for another term. His campaign theme: “Neighbors First.”

That might be a slap at the campaign launched recently by a coalition of political activists supportive of “candidates who put ‘Salem First.’” Or it may be an attempt to appeal to those in his North Salem neighborhood who oppose any change, regardless of whether it might benefit the entire city.

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