The post-election haze is subsiding, and now we contemplate which direction Leah Cole will head as Peabody’s newly re-elected representative in the Massachusetts Great and General Court.
Her victory on Tuesday over Beverley Dunne, in the election for 12th Essex District State Rep, was a surprise to some, and a moment of celebration for others.
As for those who think about Peabody’s future, we wonder which road Ms. Cole will take now that she is no longer an “accidental State Rep?” She won a high-turnout general election on Tuesday, and it’s undeniable that she’s earned the job.
But, like a lot of people, I continue to wonder if Peabody’s voters will get what they paid for here.
After all, during her first 18 months in office, and after winning the special election for the seat left vacant with the tragic passing of Joyce Spilliotis, Cole was more interested in positioning herself and her future as a Republican Party rising star than she was in taking care of Peabody’s interests.
Although neither would publicly admit this, since it would be “politically improper,” the other two members of our legislative delegation have picked up the slack for Peabody the past 18 months while Cole cavorted and conspired with right wing members of her party on ways to disrupt our state government. It was a strategy not dissimilar to what Republicans are doing in Congress, the only difference being that Rs on Beacon Hill remain badly outnumbered by the Ds, and thus are disrespected there like some fringe party.
But with future visions of “Governor Cole” or “Congresswoman Cole” dancing in her head, Leah has seemingly spent most of her time on Beacon Hill trying to improve her political capital with Republicans whom aren’t exactly moderates. My sources tell me it’s all starting to wear on Rep Ted Speliotis and Senator Joan Lovely, who are doing a lot of standing in for Cole while she tilts at windmills with lunatic fringe Reps such as Marc Columbo, Shaunna O’Connell, and Jim Lyons.
All of this leaves us wondering which way Cole will head now. Will she be an ambitious right wing Republican constantly in campaign mode, or like her predecessor, will she care only about doing the business of the people of Peabody?
It’s funny to see all the comments on the blog from Cole supporters, who insist that Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt only endorsed Dunne because the school committee member was a Democrat.
Oh sure, party loyalty, and the fact that Ted and Beverley have been friends and business associates for years, had something to do with the endorsement.
But the major reason why the Mayor endorsed Dunne was because he felt she had the experience, and would be focused always and only on Peabody. It is, after all, critically important that the Mayor have a partner who can get his city the funds it needs from the state to improve the quality of life of Peabody citizens.
Bettencourt’s endorsement had little to do with R’s and D’s, which brings me back to my original point here.
Will Leah Cole be able to put her ideology and ambition aside to effectively do the business of the people of Peabody? Will the voters truly get what they paid for this time?
We shall see.