The roster of candidates in the special election race for Peabody's 12th Essex District seat is now official and features no changes from a week ago.
The five candidates are:
- Beverley Griffin Dunne, Democrat
- James Moutsoulas, Democrat
- David Gravel, Unenrolled
- Gregory Bunn, Republican
- Leah Cole, Republican
Each of the candidates has now established an online presence, most recently being Cole, a 24-year-old South Peabody resident. You can find her Facebook page here.
The candidates say they are knocking on doors and organizing campaign support in the few short weeks they have until the March 5 primary, followed by the final special election on April 2. Cole, however, has not publicized any campaign activity yet.
Moutsoulas, a former city councilor, held an organizational campaign meeting this past Sunday at the Knights of Columbus, while Gravel, another city councilor, is kicking off his campaign Friday (7 p.m.) at the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Bunn is launching his campaign Jan. 28 (7 p.m.) at the Sylvan Street Grille and Dunne, a School Committee member, kicks her campaign off at the KofC on Feb. 1 (7 p.m.).
Dunne is also holding a meeting Thursday night (7 p.m.) at St. Michael's Hall for anyone who wishes to volunteer on her campaign.
As an Unenrolled candidate, only Gravel would not take part in party primaries in March.
Both the City Clerk's office and Elections Division of the Secretary of State's office confirmed Tuesday afternoon that no one else had taken out papers in the race.
There had been rampant speculation over the past few weeks that city councilor Anne Manning-Martin might consider another run for the seat along with former state Rep. John Slattery.
Manning-Martin told Peabody Patch Tuesday she enjoys her current role as an At-Large Councilor and just plans to seek re-election in the fall, noting it's been eight years since she ran against late Peabody Rep. Joyce Spiliotis.
"Things have changed since then," she said. "I'm very content working on the matters before the City Council now."
"I know there was a lot of speculation, but I never threw my name out there," Manning-Martin said.
Slattery was not available for comment on Tuesday. He told Peabody Patch earlier this month he hadn't made up his mind yet whether he would run or not for his old seat.
The 12th Essex District seat was left vacant with the death of Peabody native Joyce Spiliotis in November. The district includes wards 1-4 and Ward 5 Precinct 1 and 3.