Sen. Berry Defends 2nd Essex District Seat
Berry receives 8,686 votes in Salem. Opponents Jolitz (R-Beverly) and Fraser (I-Salem) receive 2,844 and 1,347 respectively.
Fred Berry (D – Peabody) maintained his seat as the 2nd Essex District Senator in General Court Tuesday at the polls.
Berry won among Salem residents with 8,686 votes, beating out opponents Richard A. Jolitz (R-Beverly) and Matthew J. Fraser (I-Salem). Jolitz received 2,844 votes among Salemites; Fraser received 1,347.
As results came in during an election party at his favorite restaurant, the Wardhurst Grille at 31 Lynnfield St., in Peabody, Berry said he "is a very fortunate man."
After 28 years as senator, the lifelong Peabody resident said he believes the "voters have returned me to office because of my record." Berry said he is "happy" his constituents recognize his hard work and dedication. "I'm thrilled," he added.
Berry's wife, Gayle, said the couple is "very blessed," and lauded the efforts of "a great staff."
In his 15th term, Berry said he intends to continue working to do his best to support his constituents.
"I'm just going to continue to do my job to the best of my ability," Berry said. "I know how to get things done," he added. Berry said his constituents "know they can trust me," even if they don't agree with him on every issue.
On the North Shore and beyond, Berry said he believes "the whole country is trying to figure things out." Berry said the high voter turnout, which clocked in at 53 percent in Salem, is testament to the fact that "people across the country are looking for leaders to guide them in the right direction…I think the country is at a crossroads," he added.
Berry's Republican opponent, Richard Jolitz of Beverly, had a sinking feeling when the final results for his hometown were tallied.
Jolitz lost all six of Beverly's wards to Berry. In Salem, Berry defeated Jolitz in all wards and precincts. Berry received 5,819 votes in Danvers, while Jolitz clocked in with 3,697.
After he learned he had lost Salem in addition to Beverly, Jolitz was ready to concede at approximately 9:30 p.m.
"We ran a good race and Fred Berry has done a lot of good work for the district and I congratulate him on winning another term," Jolitz said.
Jolitz said he was proud of the fact that he offered the electorate an alternative to the incumbent Berry, who has served the district since 1983.
"The solace that I'm going to take from this is that for the first time in 16 years, people had a choice," said Jolitz, an EMT from Beverly who mounted his first campaign for state office.
Jolitz said that he and many other members of the North Shore Tea Party and national Tea Party movement chose to stand up and make their voices heard on issues like the economy, taxes and national health care reform that President Barack Obama signed into law earlier this year.
"Instead of sitting back and complaining, I actually got there and tried to do something," Jolitz said.
Regardless of how many Republicans win seats at the local, state or national level in Tuesday's election, Jolitz said he believes the Tea Party movement that inspired him to run will continue beyond the next Presidential race in 2012.
Jolitz said he is not sure if he will run again for the State Senate 2nd Essex District in two years or not, but he found running in this race very rewarding.
"It's been very educational and it's been a fantastic experience," he said.
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