Dunne, Gould, and Gravel positioning for potential run for open State Rep seat

5 Dec

Gould says he has decided not to run for state rep. See the updated version of this story by clicking here.

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher


Beverley Dunne (left), meeting here with Mayor Ted Bettencourt, will run to fill the seat left open by late State Rep Joyce Spilliotis

The race to succeed late State Representative Joyce Spilliotis is unofficially underway, with at least three potential candidates already making calls to line up support.

EOP has learned that School Committee member Beverley Dunne, who was a close friend and supporter of Representative Spilliotis will run for the seat in a yet-to-be-announced special election.

Others who have been calling around  town seeking out early support include current Councilors At-Large Tom Gould and David Gravel. Dunne and Gould would run as Democrats, meaning there will be a primary sometime after the first of the year, likely in March. Contrary to what we reported earlier tonight, EOP is now not able to confirm if Gravel would also run as a Democratic. A Facebook friend source told me tonight that he heard Gravel would run as an independent.

EOP has also learned that former Rep John Slattery, who recently lost in his bid to replace retiring Senator Fred Berry, is unlikely to run for the state rep seat, which was held by Spilliotis for 10 years until her death a week ago. The district includes Peabody Wards 1-4 and part of Ward 5.

Tom Gould

Tom Gould

Dunn is a very popular member of the school committee, who would have been up for re-election this fall. Gould in 2011 topped the ticket during the Councilor At-Large race in his first run for public office, and Gravel has served on both the school committee and city council.

As for pure speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised if Councilor At-Large Anne Manning, who lost twice in state rep races against Spilliotis, might also be considering another run.

So far, there seem to be no candidates on the Republican side, but if we were to simply speculate, it wouldn’t be outrageous to wonder if former Governor’s Councilor Mary Ellen Manning might be

Dave Gravel

Dave Gravel

interested.  Mary Ellen Manning recently finished third to Joan Lovely and Slattery in the Democratic primary for Berry’s seat, and right after that loss left the Democratic Party by changing her voting status to “unenrolled.” Of course, if her sister Ann Manning is in on the Democratic side, it’s highly unlikely that Mary Ellen will run.

Then again, is it also possible that Anne Manning might run as a Republican, since she was a  supporter of Republican Richard Tisei in his unsuccessful recent run against Democrat Congressman JohnTierney.

Speculating even further, another Republican with a track record for winning citywide is School Committee member and attorney Jarrod Hochman. But a source told me tonight that Hochman said today he would not run.

Definitely more to come on this story …

31 Responses to “Dunne, Gould, and Gravel positioning for potential run for open State Rep seat”

  1. Missing Joycie December 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    GO BEV, GO!!!!!!

  2. Peabody guy December 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Beverly is a nice lady but this is not contest. Tommy Gould takes it. He’s the man! He is the most qualified of the three. Great guy,. good for hte community and smart business guy. Do not waste your time Gravel,. or Bev

  3. Fudgy The Whale December 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Yaaaay! Free ice cream for EVERYONE!!!!!

  4. Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Hoping that Mary Ellen runs. She is the type of independent voice we need on Beacon Hill. Maybe she will run as an independent.

  5. the Outfront Guy* December 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    wow–speculation already on this seat huh? let me ask our readers this…how long has Tom Gould served this city in any politicalley elected capacity? sure he’s nice guy BUT why does he get such a short leash to prove himself to the voters before he can be considered as a frontrunner for this seat? Gravel, Ann Manning and Dunne have all been representing us for so much longer!! help me understand this Dark City?

    • Ted December 6, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Agreed OG, (for once. Hey it is the Christmas Season)

  6. Not A Fan of Freeloaders December 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    What a field of self serving characters! Tom Gould hasn’t even served but 1/2 of his first term of elected office – why run for Councilor at Large if he really wanted something bigger? Beverly Dunne – another one using stepping stones and perhaps the taxpayer’s money for insurance. For the record Ann Manning ran and lost TWICE for state rep – not once, among other campaigns. Mary Ellen Manning couldn’t even win Peabody or place 2nd in the recent Senate Race. Gravel runs a non profit – hmmmm…..They can’t get paying jobs in the good ole private sector so they keep running for public office. Those in this field that get elected should stick to the offices they hold now – tis not the season to be greedy.

  7. Bob Croce December 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    “Fan,” thanks for the correction. I had forgotten that Ann Manning lost to Joyce twice. I just updated the post.

  8. anon December 6, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    I watch the council hearings and in one year I have not seen Tom Gould open his mouth and contribute to any issue in the city. Why is the “biggest vote getter” afraid to open his mouth. You can’t be serious about a run for state rep. Giving free ice cream doen’t exactly qualify you to be in the statehouse. We need a fighter up there on Beacon Hill not somebody incapable of arguing on one simple issue. I’d take Gravel any day.

  9. the Outfront Guy* December 6, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    so there you go…some readers seem to agree with OG that mentioning Gould as a potential heir to the throne is a bit premature….maybe OG is a bit old fashioned but what about the concept of ‘putting in your time’ and letting the voters see what you do once elected before moving onto higher authority???

  10. Bob Croce December 6, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    OG. I don’t disagree with you. I’m just saying that I understand why Tom would take a shot, eventhough he doesn’t have much experience in office. The rest if for voters like you to decide.

  11. Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Tommy Gould. We call him the invisible councilor in my house. Did he actually take his seat after winning all those votes? I never see him on cable during the meetings.

  12. Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    The OG is right here. The problem Gouldie is going to have here is that this will be a primary where only well educated voters will come out to vote. It’s also not hard to get voters to give you one of 5 votes by giving them a free ice cream cone. Not as easy getting them to give you there one vote for an important position like state rep.

  13. Sue Brotchie December 6, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    What happens when there is a field of Independents or “Unenrolleds”, as we are called? Would they just bypass the primary or if there are more than 1 as the article speculated, would there have to be a primary for them also? Maybe an ordinary person who has never held public office before may come forward also. If you have worked hard your whole life, managed a household and have had to make tough decisions both budgetary and socially, have a passion to make sure Peabody and all of Massachusetts is a great place to live and do business – a person is qualified in my book. Someone with common sense who can relate to the same everyday dilemmas and fears of their neighbors has all the qualifications needed to serve their neighbors.

    • Andy December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      I would love to see a candidate like that but unfortunately such a person has little or no chance of winning unless they have some serious name recognition, that’s just how it is. These elections are nothing but popularity contests anyway. True qualifications don’t seem to mean much these days. Just look at some of the people we keep re-electing. As for the potential candidates here, Beverly is way too liberal for my tastes and I don’t trust Gravel as far as I can throw him. Gould has been a disappointment. I had high hopes for him. My own choice would be Ann Manning. I don’t always agree with her but she seems to take a practical view on how to get things done. Hochman is an interesting idea but he doesn’t seem to be interested.

  14. Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    What about Fitzgerald? Where has he gone?

    • Sue Brotchie December 6, 2012 at 8:42 am #

      I saw him at Joyce’s wake on Sunday. He may also join the fray at the risk of being running out of Plaistow, and then become jobless.

  15. TT December 6, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    TT is thrilled that we have another hot political race to discuss on this latest in the long line of Peabody blogs!!! No offense @BobCroce but bland posts about foreign exchange student programs at Peabody High School or some high school track star won’t drive much traffic. Leave the feel good stuff to the Peabody Patch will ya.

    In terms of the rep race, it’s far too early to tell what the outcome might be but I got a feeling we’re in for a real cage match. There’s some real animosity and as long as it doesn’t cross the line of good civil discourse, I say let the games begin!!!

    TT is back baby and I’m more ‘twisted’ than ever!!!

    PS – There are two other former proven Peabody vote getters who are looking hard at this race. One of them would likely move right behind Gouldie as the early favorite. Neither of them has experience as candidates for the state legislature though.

    PPS – Guess what? I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell.

    • Andy December 6, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      No experience as candidates for state legislature? Those two sound good already!

  16. Sue Brotchie December 6, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Bob- Indepenents can run as long as they get the required signatures, I was wondering how this one would play out if there were 2 or more Independents – would there have to be an “Independant primary” ? In your article, you mentioned 2 possibilites that could run as independants – Gravel and MaryEllen Manning. I can’t recall an election where there was ever more than 1 independent. Interesting. And who knows…maybe more independents could be added to the field.

  17. Sue Brotchie December 6, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Bob- No primary for any unenrolled candidates – there could be any number appearing on the ballot at the final election. I called the Secretary of State – Elections Division.

    • Sue Brotchie December 6, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      However,,,,it would seem a bit of an opportunist if someone were to change their party affiliation just to position themselve better in this race than someone who has been an unenrolled/independent all along.

      • Mary-Ellen Manning December 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        Sue, why don’t you run?

  18. anon December 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Any of the candidiates running that call themselves an independent is a joke. Gravel has been a big time spender on the school committee and on the city council. He’s he voted to raise taxes every time. Dunne is too liberal and Gould is totally useless. I hate to say it but Anne Manning may be the best of the bunch. Calling yourself an independent to avoid a primary is a litle sneaky.

    • Sue Brotchie December 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Not if you’ve been an independent all along. I do agree with you that changing one’s party now for self-serving reasons doesn’t sit well.
      And if it is true what has been reported to Bob that Ann Manning is contemplating a run as a republican – that truly would go down as the most desperate move in Peabody’s politics.

  19. the Outfront Guy* December 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    OG happens to think that Ann Manning would be a very strong and viable candidate for this position….her many years of service would serve her and us quite well….and unlike some of you who seem to be willing to put any old Nicky New Guy in this position OG happens to think that we need someone with a good head on their shoulders who is politically connected and in tune with the electorate…Miss Manning is your best candidate…and that’s how OG sees it !.

    • Anonymous December 7, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      This is an awful candidate and also her sister too. She is miserable and she does not know how to work with other committee members. As a state rep you have to build strong relationships statewide and I do not believe she has it in her to do that. Not to mention she really does not understand how to make things happen. She would rather put on a show in front of the committee for the voters that actually go and watch.

  20. Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    You’re a pisser OG.

  21. Harry Birmingham December 11, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    As a resident of Plaistow I can tell every Peabody critic of Sean Fitzgerald that he is doing a great job here . I doubt he will leave here after saying he wouldn’t after taking his leave to run for mayor of Peabody. If he does decide to run it will be a loss for this town and his New Hampshire contacts that he has worked with while here. I have to agree with the person who said if he were to run and lose he would be out of a job and that is a hard take when you have a young family. I can say with truth that my interests and feelings will always be in Peabody as most can tell by my having given my comments and opinion[s] here and on the other Peabody sites that are now gone.


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