, Salem, MA


March 7, 2014

Benton: Doing the right thing for the wrong reason



Many bemoan the fact that, unlike in New Hampshire or Arizona, serving in the Massachusetts Legislature has become a full-time job with salary and benefits to match. But running for office, in this observer’s view, certainly ought to remain a part-time endeavor.

So you will find no criticism here of Paul Tucker’s intention to remain as Salem’s police chief while running for the state representative seat being vacated by John Keenan. In a telephone interview this week, Tucker said he is highly sensitive to the potential minefields that face anyone holding one public office while seeking another, but is confident that can be navigated without injury to his electability or reputation.

A clear field, particularly on the Democratic side, would certainly help Tucker by reducing the pressure on him to raise money. But while some potential candidates have decided to remain on the sidelines, Grace Harrington, Keenan’s top Statehouse staffer and a member of one of the city’s most prominent political families, says she’s still considering a run.


Datebook: Several candidates for state and federal office are expected at the next meeting of the Salem Democratic City Committee to be held Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at 11 Tedesco Pond Place.

Political columnist Nelson Benton retired as editorial page editor of The Salem News in 2012.

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