By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher
Yesterday we learned that Leah Cole would give her employers – the taxpayers of Peabody – just one week’s notice while quitting her job as State Rep.
And today, we hear that her friends in the city’s Republican Party won’t put up much of a fight when it comes to allowing the seat Cole is abandoning at mid-term to turn blue again.
On Monday, Ipswich State Rep and Mass GOP leader Brad Hill said in the local dying daily newspaper that his party would have a “viable candidate” for the seat once held by legendary Democrat Rep Joyce Spiliotis.
But after hearing about what came out of the Peabody Republican City Committee’s “emergency meeting” last night, it makes me wonder if Hill had been misquoted by a reporter who has a reputation for getting things wrong.
After all, it appears that Peabody City Republicans have – like Ms. Cole – pulled the chute.
They’re giving up by backing two totally unknown candidates to defend the seat won in fluke-like style three years ago after city Democrats “ate their own candidates.”
It’s always great to see young people get involved in politics, but after an undistinguished three years at the State House by one twentysomething rep, I’m not sure Peabody voters have the stomach to let another one take her place. But that’s what the Republicans are selling while looking forward to a primary “showdown” between a couple of pretty much unknown young women named Stephanie Peach and Jaclyn Corriveau.
But it’s not only Peach and Corriveau’s lack of experience, and clearly I’d rather have one of them in office than some of Peabody’s current elected officials. It’s more a case that neither has ANY all-important name recognition, which brings me to this point:
Where is newly minted Republican Anne Manning-Martin?
Ms. Corriveau joining the race means that the Peabody City Councilor won’t run now for the seat being deserted by Cole. After all, Anne is Jaclyn’s friend and political mentor. Corriveau is Manning-Martin’s campaign manager.
Peach, meanwhile, has been serving as Leah Cole’s aide on Beacon Hill.
Barring Dave Gravel or anyone else jumping into the fray as a “third-party” candidate, the Democrats are likely to easily take back this seat in the soon-to-be-announced special election.
If popular City Councilor Tom Gould wants to be state rep, he can have the seat by just bringing back the required signatures on his nomination papers. Gould vs. Peach or Corriveau? That would be like the Patriots playing Peabody High.
City Councilor Tom Walsh would win in a romp too over Ms. Peach or Ms. Corriveau. So too would Beverley Dunne, who would have beaten Cole handily three years ago if Gravel didn’t split her vote.
It’s clear that the Peabody Republicans have decided to not field a competitive candidate, which leaves us continue wondering why Ms. Manning-Martin changed her D to an R.