Parisella sails to sixth term in Beverly state rep race

Jerry Parisella

BEVERLY — State Rep. Jerry Parisella rolled to an easy win in Tuesday’s election and will return to the Statehouse for a sixth two-year term.

Parisella, a Democrat, had big lead on challenger Euplio “Rick” Marciano, with more than 78% of the vote in three of the city’s six wards, according to unofficial results shortly after the polls closed.

“I really appreciate the support of Beverly residents,” Parisella said. “It’s a job I really like doing and it’s wonderful that they’re giving me another opportunity to represent them for two years. I try to work hard and I hope they respect that.”

The victory for Parisella came as no surprise. He had beaten Marciano in three previous races. Marciano, a retired U.S. Army veteran who ran as an unenrolled independent, did not spend any money on his campaign this year.

But Parisella said he took nothing for granted, especially with an election that drew such a large turnout due to the presidential race.

“With the turnout being so high you wanted to get the message out to people who might normally not vote and let people know who you are,” Parisella said. “That’s what I tried to do.”

Marciano said he was not discouraged by the loss. He said it was a tough year to campaign due to the pandemic, preventing him from knocking on doors.

“It definitely was a tough year,” he said. “But there could end up being 2,000 people in the city voting for me. That shows there’s people out there who might not be satisfied and they like me as a person. I’ll be proud to run again so they’ll have that choice.”

Parisella, a 57-year-old Beverly native, is an attorney and an officer in the Army Reserves. After first winning office in 2010, he has won reelection with at least 74% of the vote in each of the last four races.

Tuesday’s win gives him a sixth term as Beverly’s representative in the 6th Essex District. That will surpass previous Beverly state representatives Mike Cahill (five terms), Mary Grant (four terms) and Fran Alexander (four terms).

At the Ward 3 polling location at the McKeown School, Wendy Foster said she voted for Parisella because he is well known and is a “big part of the community.”

“That’s important,” said Foster, who owns owns the Karma Hair Studio on Rantoul Street. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Other voters at the McKeown School said they were there to vote for president and did not know much about the state representative race.

Peter Jewkes, 55, said he voted for Parisella because he did not know anything about Marciano.

“Truth be told, I didn’t recognize the other guy,” Jewkes said. “I saw the signs for Parisella.”

Parisella said his top priority will be helping his home city get through the COVID-19 pandemic with a state budget crisis looming.

“It’s helping out small businesses and people who are unemployed and making sure that Beverly gets its fair share of funding for schools, police and fire,” he said. “That’s going to be a challenge this year for sure.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at pleighton@salemnews.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.

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