Late Monday, Beverley Griffin Dunne publicly announced her candidacy for the open state representative seat in Peabody, pledging to follow in the late Joyce Spiliotis' footsteps on constituent service and place the needs and concerns of Peabody's citizenry at the forefront of her work.
"Her [Spiliotis'] dedication to the people of Peabody -- young families, senior citizens and everyone in between -- and her attention to their needs is a model I pledge to follow," said Dunne in a press release. "The cornerstone of my service will be to listen and to act on your needs and concerns."
Dunne, a School Committee member for the past 10 years and a local attorney, said she'll also be focused on making sure Peabody gets its fair share of government funding for important local services and programs.
"I will be a strong advocate and voice for the city of Peabody in the state legislature, putting the needs of the city before anything else," she said.
She said several of those needed programs are for employment and housing assistance, transportation and health services for seniors, small business assistance and funding in general for transportation and education.
Dunne now has a campaign page on Facebook, which she says she'll be updating regularly. City councilor Dave Gravel is also in the race and he has a Facebook page as well -- even former city councilor Jim Moutsoulas just published his own page to provide updates on his candidacy.
Former state Rep. John Slattery told Peabody Patch Monday night that he is still undecided whether he will jump into the race or not.
He noted that if he does enter the race, he is confident he has a large enough base of support to seriously contend for the seat. Although Slattery ultimately lost to Salem's Joan Lovely, he did win Peabody by a large margin in the September primary in the State Senate race to succeed Fred Berry.
With Dunne and Moutsoulas in the race, both Democrats, that ensures a party primary on March 5 prior to the final special election. Gravel is Unenrolled.
The 12th Essex District seat represents wards 1-4 and Ward 5 Precinct 1 and 3 in Peabody.