To the editor:
I’m incredibly proud of my father, Steve Dibble. He had the guts to go up against a machine and fight for what he believed in. Most people, including myself, would never even have the guts to try.
Once the last vote was counted, my father walked over to Kim Driscoll’s election party to congratulate her on the win. Most politicians call their competitor in defeat, my father walked there and did it in person because that’s the kind of person he is. He’s a man of integrity as he’s proven to me countless times as a father. I accompanied him when he did so, and the mayor was dismissive and barely acknowledged his presence in my opinion.
My dad fell just 9% of votes short of his goal. And when I say my dad, I mean just my dad. He didn’t have a campaign manager. He didn’t have the resources or experience of a 16-year incumbent. He had five times fewer campaign donations (46% of Driscoll’s coming from outside of Salem). He didn’t have the Salem News (which moderated both debates) and six rubber-stamp council members under his thumb. His campaign was grassroots, honest and hard fought.
My father isn’t a career politician or polished debater. He attended Salem State University, raised a family in Salem and wanted to continue to serve the city he loves. The mayor might not respect what my father accomplished but 4,516 Salem residents do — me most of all. Heck of a campaign, Dad. I love you.