, Salem, MA

June 28, 2013

Benton: Good showing by Gomez

Nelson Benton
The Salem News

---- — 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.


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.


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.

In that case he might want to change his slogan to “NIMBYs First.”


Over in Peabody, one who was there tells me that Tom Walsh, who has been out of politics for many years, had a large and enthusiastic turnout for his recent fundraiser at Toscana’s. Walsh, who once represented the city on Beacon Hill, would be a fine replacement for Jim Liacos, who is not running for re-election after many years serving the city on the school board and as councilor-at-large.

Also vying for the five at-large seats on the council are Liacos’ four fellow incumbents and newcomers Scott Frasca and Margaret Tierney.

Meanwhile, Ward 3 Councilor Rico Mello’s decision not to seek re-election, along with the formidable challenge being mounted against Ward 2 representative Arthur Athas by Peter McGinn, could put a big dent in the Leather City’s NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) cabal.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who thus far seems destined for a free ride this November, ought to be seeking qualified candidates for Mello’s seat not named Dick Jarvis.


In case you were wondering what Bill Hudak is up to these days (and who wouldn’t be?):

The Boxford Republican who ran against U.S. Rep. John Tierney three years ago is on YouTube touting what he himself calls “a worldwide legal pyramid” that he claims can make your dreams of financial security come true.

All you have to do is get two people to buy into the scheme and click your heels twice … something like that.