Campaign Trail Sizzles for Summer
Here's an update on the state Senate race for the 2nd Essex District.
[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect a correction. Joan Lovely's campaign did file a year-end report for 2011 in accordance with campaign finance law, but at the local level in Salem for her current term as a city councilor. The Office of Campaign and Political Finance also finally allowed Lovely to drop her longstanding debt, which was due to a disagreement with a printer on services provided under contract.]
Summer is definitely here and the candidates are taking every advantage of favorable weather to hit the streets for visible campaigning.
Salem city councilor Joan Lovely, in the state Senate race to succeed Fred Berry, marched in the North Shore Pride Parade from Riley Plaza to Salem Common on Saturday, as her campaign hit 20 different locations in the 2nd Essex District that same day.
Both incumbent U.S. Congressman John Tierney (D-Salem) and his November opponent former state Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield) marched as well in the parade.
Meanwhile, John Slattery and Mary-Ellen Manning, the other front-runners in the Senate race, were over in Danvers on Saturday at Endicott Park Day, which is part of the annual Danvers Family Festival.
More teachers for Slattery and a look at campaign finances
Slattery, a former state representative, also announced earlier that week that he picked up two more teachers' union endorsements — the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Hathorne Federation of Teachers (Essex Aggie faculty).
The MTA is the parent organization for local teachers' unions in Beverly and Danvers, and both pledges follow the Peabody Federation of Teachers declaration of support for Slattery on June 21, in addition to numerous other union endorsements.
“The residents of this district are fortunate to have a candidate with your qualifications and experience running for this seat,” said MTA official Kerry Costello, also noting Slattery's "commitment to supporting and strengthening public education at all levels."
Joyce Kimani, the president of the Essex Aggie union, echoed those sentiments, adding that Slattery has demonstrated his support for regional vocational education as well.
Kimani noted the new megavoke in Danvers is slated to open in 2014 and it is "vital" the next state senator be actively involved in that process just as retiring Sen. Fred Berry was over the years.
"Now we will be looking to John’s leadership,” she said.
Slattery, in kind, expressed his thanks to both groups and said teachers are the "unsung heroes" in local communities, helping parents shape both the lives and futures of their children.
“I have always been a strong proponent of education and as this race progresses, it is becoming clear that I am emerging as the pro-education candidate,” he said. He added that he fought for "precious educational resources" such as state aid and initiatives to reduce class sizes while serving in the House.
In other campaign news, it won't be clear how successful each candidate has been in securing financial contributions until official pre-primary reports are due Aug. 29, but of the three front-runners in the race, Slattery started off the year with the biggest war chest.
According to reports filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Slattery closed out 2011 with $14,517 in total receipts, bringing in $4,800 on top of $9,717 he carried over from previous years.
The year-end report shows Slattery didn't spend any money on the campaign -- it wasn't until early this year that he officially announced he was running -- and he had $8,323 in outstanding debts. Those debts dated back to 1998 and 2002 for printing and phone bank services, along with office rent.
Lovely did not file a year-end report electronically with the OCPF, but rather filed that report at the local elections office in Salem for her current term as a city councilor. According to a mid-year filing with the OCPF, however, she had $4,363 that was carried over from her run for state representative in 2004 and had still owed $7,137 mainly in printing fees.
Lovely says that debt was finally dropped after a ruling by the OCPF last year. She said most of the debt was for a printing bill her committee refused to pay because the printer "bungled" the final mailing, sending it out the day after the election rather than before as the contract called for.
Manning ended 2011 with $1,217, bringing in $2,662 and spending $1,519 mainly on printing services. She started off with $75. Manning announced her candidacy for the Senate last fall.
Just like Slattery and Lovely, Manning reports $7,828 in outstanding debts carried over from previous years; however, she indicated in her 2010 year-end report that debt was a loan she made to her campaign.
The Democratic Senate Primary between Slattery, Lovely, Manning and Edward Carroll is Sept. 6. The winner of the primary will face Republican Richard Jolitz in November.