I thought we’d have some Peabody political insider fun this afternoon, and talk about what the Eye is uncovering in what could become another very interesting race for the State Rep seat in the 12th Essex District (Peabody Wards 1-4, Ward 5 Prec. 1 & 3).
Less than a year after Republican Leah Cole’s stunning special election upset win over Democrat Beverley Dunne and unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel, candidate names are being floated as the seat gets contested again this November.
Dunne has told several people that she’s going for it again on the Democrat side, and we’ve heard speculation that Ward 1 Councilor Barry Osborne is contemplating a run as an unenrolled candidate.
But here’s what else The Eye is learning …
Incumbent Cole is leaning away from running for re-election to focus on her nursing career, and another source tells us Councilor at-large Tom Gould is leaning against running too. Gould considered running last year for the open seat after Joyce Spilliotis passed away, but then decided against it to focus on his business.
The Cole thing could change quickly, though, once the Mass GOP gets wind of it and starts doing whatever it can to convince its Golden Girl to run again, including a promise to help her build a campaign war chest north of $100K.
It all does make you wonder, though, if the Peabody Democratic City Committee is going to step up this time and support the Democratic candidate. Osborne is really a Democrat, and so too was Gravel last time. But the party insiders were divided, and with Dunne and Gravel splitting the vote, it made things much easier for Ms. Cole to pull off the upset.
Let me know in the comments section what you think will happen here.