, Salem, MA


November 1, 2010

Now the voters have their say

Tomorrow, it's your turn.

The last several months have been dominated by the candidates for local and statewide office. Much has been made lately of the poisonous nature of political advertising, dirty campaigning and the increasingly personal attacks that risk turning voters away from the poll altogether.

Look beyond the rancor, however, and a different picture emerges. It has been a long time since there were so many strongly contested races on the North Shore and across Massachusetts.

And there have been plenty of opportunities for voters to get to know the candidates, from informal coffees to community forums to local debates. The candidates for governor debated 16 times this year. From Beverly and Danvers to Marblehead and Swampscott, there has been an open exchange of ideas.

We agree with Endicott College President Richard Wylie, who wrote on these pages Saturday:

"Each of us must learn to listen and think critically if we are to change the course of politics in this country. It starts with becoming involved. It continues with a search for the facts. It ends with a decision to support candidates who espouse honesty, integrity and accountability and put public service above their own personal gain."

Here's who has earned endorsement from The Salem News:

For Congress, we endorse incumbent John Tierney of Salem, whose campaign — and reputation in the district — was wounded earlier this month when his wife, Patrice Tierney, pleaded guilty to four counts of aiding and abetting in the filing of her brother's false tax returns. Tierney should have paid closer attention to his wife's business dealings with her brother, Robert Eremian. But there is absolutely no evidence that either Tierney or his wife profited from those activities.

Tierney has represented the district well for seven terms. Tierney's district office in Peabody Square has a strong reputation for constituent service and he has worked hard on behalf of the local fishing industry and General Electric's jet aircraft operations in Lynn, to name two constituencies.

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