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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.