Just to update an earlier story here, Governor Deval Patrick has rejected Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s request to temporarily fill the 12th Essex State Rep seat left vacant following the death of Joyce Spilliotis, citing that there is no current law that allows for this.
It may be an unwinnable situation and a little too late, but it’s good to see that Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt is petitioning Governor Deval Patrick for the right to appoint an interim replacement for deceased State Representative Joyce Spilliotis.
The Mayor wants to ensure that, until a new rep is seated following the April 2nd special election, Peabody has its fair share of representation on Beacon Hill. The problem is that there is no precedent or law giving a mayor such powers to appoint, and it might end up taking an executive order from Patrick to allow this.
Bettencourt appointing an interim rep presents another potential sticky situation: Although Mayor of Peabody, he doesn’t even live in the open seat’s 12th Essex House District. A Ward 6 resident, Bettencourt is represented on Beacon Hill by Ted Spelliotis.
The Mayor says he would only appoint as the interim someone who is not running in the special election. So far, Democrats Beverley Dunne and James Moutsoulas, unenrolled candidate David Gravel, and Republicans Greg Bunn and Leah Cole have pulled nomination papers to run for the right to complete the final 19 months of Spilliotis’ term. The deadline for returning their petitions with at least 150 qualified signatures is Tuesday, Jan. 22. The 12thEssex seat represents Peabody Wards 1-4, and precincts 1 and 3 in Ward 5.
Let me know what you think in the comments section, and be sure to take our poll.
Been hoping for some new candidates?
Well, it looks like you’ll get some, and as a result, we could now have a race on the Republican side in the special election to replace Joyce Spilliotis for the 12th Essex State House seat.
Both Gregory Bunn and Leah Cole, who haven’t run for office in Peabody before, have pulled nomination papers. If they each get 150 qualified signatures by Jan. 22, there will be a Republican primary fight on March 5, with the winner going on to the final election ballot on April 2.
Bunn, a Ward 5 resident, is part of the management team for the North Shore Career Centers. He is a former social worker with the Department of Mental Health.
Not many details on Cole yet, but Bunn has set up a Facebook page.
More details here from a story in today’s Patch.
And … there’s still time to pull papers for additional candidates who might be interested. To be eligible, you must live in Peabody Wards 1-4, or Ward 5, Precinct 1 or 3.
Word on the street is that the former holder of this seat, attorney John Slattery, might be the next to jump in on the Democratic side, which already includes declared candidates Beverley Griffin Dunne and James Moutsoulas.
Councilor At-Large David Gravel will be on the final ballot with no party affiliation, since he’s seeking the office as an unenrolled candidate.
The Mass. Secretary of State’s office reports that the primary election in the 12th Essex District will take place on March 5, followed by the final election on April 2.
And there is not much time to get into the race, since nomination papers, with no less than 150 certified signatures, must be submitted to the Peabody City Clerk’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on Jan.22.
So far, the only declared Democratic candidates known to the Eye are School Committee member Beverley Griffin Dunne, and former Ward 3 Councilor Jim Moutsoulas. If both Dunne and Moutsoulas return their papers, it would necessitate a Democratic Primary.
Councilor At-Large David Gravel, who has official organized a committee through the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) , will need to run as an independent. To run as either a Democrat or Republican, you would have had to been an enrolled member one of those parties as of Oct. 31, 2012. Gravel is currently listed as “unenrolled,” and all he or any other independent candidate would need to get on the final ballot is at least 150 certified signatures.
You must also live in Peabody Wards 1-4, or Ward 5 (Precincts 1 and 3 only)
Other candidates who have been speculated about on the Democratic side include Peabody attorney John Slattery, who held the 12th Essex seat before Spilliotis. Slattery recently made an unsuccessful bid to beat Salem’s Joan Lovely in a special election to replace retiring State Senator Fred Berry.
Ward 5 resident Gregory Bunn, has entered the race on the Republican side, registering a committee with OCPF on Dec. 24th. Kosma Evangelidis told the Boston Globe earlier that he was running, meaning there would be a primary on the Republican side if both he and Bunn entered the fray.
There has been speculation that Peabody Councilor At-Large Anne Manning-Martin might jump into the race as an independent, but so far she has not told the Eye whether she is in or out.
We welcome 2013 with the news of a new announced candidate in the yet-to-be-announced special election to fill the Peabody State Rep seat left open with the passing of Joyce Spilliotis.
The Eye has learned that former Ward 3 Peabody City Councilor Jim Moutsoulas has made it known that he will pull nomination papers and run once the State Legislature sets the dates for what is expected to be a special election in the spring.
Moutsoulas, we’ve learned, will run as a Democrat, meaning he would join another announced candidate, Peabody School Committee member Beveley Dunne in a Democratic Primary. The other announced candidates at this point are Councilor At-Large Dave Gravel, who will reportedly run as an independent, and Kosma Evangelidis. who told the Boston Globe he would run as a Republican.
In addition to serving as Ward 3 Councilor, Mousoulas has made unsuccessful runs for councilor at-large and mayor.
At this stage, we’d like to get your take on who you feel has the edge in the Democratic primary, if it were to be only between Dunne and Moutsoulas, so please take our poll.
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With all they are paying reporters and editors, paper boys, and foreign correspondents in Arizona, I sit here wondering how the executives at the Salem News feel this morning about being irrellevant when it comes to covering the city of Peabody. I also wonder why any Peabody business would throw bad money after good and advertise in a newspaper that can’t get things right.
The latest example is an article TODAY by Alan Burke, which informs readers that there will “likely” be a special election for the State Rep seat left vacant by the death of Joyce Spilliotis. Wow! What a scoop!
Not only is Burke’s story stale and old, it’s also sprinkled with a couple of inaccuracies.
For example, Burke today tells readers that Councilor At-Large Tom Gould is considering a run. Meanwhile, Tom told the Eye on Saturday that he is definitely out. Burke wrote, “City Councilor Tom Gould was likewise mum on future plans.” Was this a case of lazy reporting by Mr. Burke, who was using an out of date quote?
Also, apparently Alan Burke isn’t a follower of Nelson Benton’s tweets either Nellie was on the SEN Twitter feed Saturday morning reporting that Gould is out, and 48 hours later Burke reports in the SEN that Gould is considering a run, but is non-committal out of respect for Joyce’s family. Ponderous dude, simply ponderous.
Burke writes that School Committee member Beverley Dunne and Councilor At-Large Dave Gravel have also been “mentioned” as candidates. Geez, Alan, wonder where you heard that? Could it be that you’re ripping things off from this blog without crediting the source?
But what I really find hysterical, is that Burke says former Mayor Mike Bonfanti is “ruling himself out, citing contentment with retirement.” I find it hard to believe that Bonfanti told Burke that. Why? Because the former Mayor doesn’t even live in that House District. Unless Bonfanti thought Burke was asking him about the seat occupied by Ted Spelliotis, then Alan Burke may have blown it on that one.
At this point. my sincere question is this:
Why in the world would anyone in Peabody pay to subscribe to the Salem News, especially when they can’t even beat me, some dude from the neighborhood, to all of the good stories? After all, this blog is and always will be FREE of charge.
If you want to read Burke’s dollar short, several days too late account, click here.
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Peabody City Councilor At-Large Tom Gould told me this afternoon that he has decided not to run in the special election to replace late State Representative Joyce Spilliotis. Gould said he made the decision this week after talking with his family, and after evaluating how running a campaign this spring might affect his focus when it comes to his Peabody business, Treadwell’s Ice Cream.
“I’m out. I’m definitely not in,” said Gould, who after topping the ticket at-large in his first run for office in 2011, was being a considered a very strong candidate to replace former Rep Spilliotis. “I’m flattered that so many people thought highly enough of me to ask me to run, but I have a lot of things on my plate right now, including running my business.”
Gould’s departure from the race leaves just Beverley Dunne as the only candidate right now on the Democratic side. Sources are telling us that Councilor At-Large Dave Gravel will seek the seat as an independent. If no other Democrat steps forward, both Dunne and Gravel would be on the final ballot. All independents need to do is get the required 150 signatures, while Dunne would face a primary challenge should another Democrat step forward.
So far, no candidates have shown interest in running as Republicans, although Councilor At-Large Anne Manning. who is registered as unenrolled, is said to be considering a run. Manning lost to Spilliotis twice in Democratic primaries, but there’s a chance she could enter the race either as an independent or a Republican.
No date has been chosen for the special election, and according to Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos, those dates are up to the State Legislature to decide.
Spilliotis passed away less than two weeks ago after losing her battle to cancer, and after serving the people of Peabody as a library trustee, then councilor at-large, and then state rep since the early 1990s.
The Eye will continue follow developments here, so please be sure to check back regularly.
When I first read the latest drivel from Nelson Benton, the former editorial page editor of the dying Salem News, my first reaction was: “Hey Nelson, how are we ever going to be able to miss you, if you just won’t go away?”
My other thought was: Wow, how pathetic must it be to sit in some retirement community in Arizona, contemplating your life, and coming to the sad conclusion that the only thing worse that being a hack “journalist” is being a has-been hack “journalist.”
At this point, I find it necessary to apologize to my audience. After all, I did promise to keep this blog above board and not take shots at people. But after you read what ole Nellie wrote about late former State Rep Joyce Spilliotis, in his “tribute,” I’m sure you’ll give me a mulligan here when it comes to my promise.
I won’t provide the link to Benton’s trashy column from a newspaper rag on its last legs, but here’s just one of the things he wrote about Joyce:
“The late Rep. Joyce Spiliotis’ populist brand of politics became a model for many local office-seekers who have found that the surest route to success at the polls is to pander rather than lead,” wrote Benton, who actually should know a little bit about pandering instead of leading. After all, his entire career was built around him being told what to write, and who to slam by the corner office at Peabody City Hall.
Geez, I always thought that it was customary to either say nice things, or say nothing at all less than a week after someone’s funeral?
I personally spent the first 12 years of my professional career working at all levels of newspapering, from large papers to small, from dailies to weeklies. I never worked with ole Nellie, but I can tell you that we always had a word for his type of “journalist.” We called those crotchety, old angry guys sitting in the corner of the newsroom … HACKS.
Hey Nellie, is the shoe fits …
Just sitting here this morning, drinking some java before heading off to work, and contemplating what my life might be like in 20 years. I’m hoping I live somewhere warm, just like Nellie. But I also hope that I won’t be sad, pathetic, and angry.
Hey, Nellie. Time to go away. Enjoy those grand kids, and spare us of your brand of “journalism” once and for all. OK?
I’m beginning to hear some things around town and through my social media channels that lead me to believe that this special election to fill the State Rep seat vacated by our friend Joyce Spilliotis, is going to be like no other election in recent memory here in our sometimes politically apathetic burg.
That’s right. You might actually see some totally grassroots candidates on the final ballot.
The requirements for making it to the final ballot are not that daunting. Essentially, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Must be a registered voter
- Must be a US citizen
- Must be a resident of the district for one year preceding the date of the election
- Must get at least 150 certified signatures from registered voters.
If you live in Wards 1-4 and part of Ward 5 (the city hall clerk’s office can let you know if you qualify here), that’s ALL you need to do to get on the final ballot as an independent candidate. If you want to run as a Democrat, you definitely need to win a primary against some better known, better financed candidates. But not if want to run as “unenrolled.”
This could set up some interesting scenarios on the final ballot. Conceivably, we could end up with one Democrat, one Republican, and several “independents.”
So … if you have always wanted to run for office, here’s your chance. City Clerk Tim Spanos says it’s up to the State Legislature to decide on the election dates, and that hasn’t happened yet. When it does, though, we’ll be sure to let everyone know when nomination papers will be available.
By the way, if you’d like to announce your candidacy here on EOP, just let me know.
The former Peabody City Councilor, and only woman from Peabody to ever serve as a State Rep, passed away late last week following an illness she had kept private.
Before a packed church, Joyce was eulogized and lauded by Congressman John Tierney, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Mayor Ted Bettencourt for her dedication to public service, her constituents, her family, and her friends.
In attendance were several members of the Mass House and Senate, and several current Peabody elected officials, including School Committee member Beverley Dunn, who read the “Lord Hear Our Prayer” petitions.
Also in attendance was former Mayor Mike Bonfanti, State Rep Ted Spelliotis, former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran, and newly elected Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff.
Also spotted were City Councilors Rico Mello, Jim Liacos, Tom Gould, and David Gravel, former State Rep John Slattery, former City Councilor, School Committee member and State Rep Tom Walsh, and former City Councilor Bill Toomey.
Several other current and former Peabody elected officials were in attendance to pay tribute at her wake on Sunday night in Salem.
The services were also attended by hundreds of constituents, all of whom admired and respected her as an outstanding public servant