[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect a correction on endorsements state Senate candidate Mary-Ellen Manning received from local businesses.]
Joan Lovely announced today that former state Sen. Jack King has endorsed her campaign for the 2nd Essex District, a seat he held 30 years ago before Peabody's Fred Berry.
The public show of support is the first such endorsement from a public official, past or present, any of the four Democratic candidates in the race have announced. Both Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and state Rep. John Keenan, however, earlier this year.
King, a local attorney and fellow Democrat, said in a press release that he believes Lovely has the "experience, integrity and skill it will take to be an effective state Senator for the people of this district."
"As a city councillor, she has been a leader and a problem solver. As a community leader, she has earned the respect and gratitude of countless groups for her volunteer efforts and involvement. We can count on Joan to put the people she represents first and to withstand the political pressures on Beacon Hill,” he said.
King is a lifelong Danvers resident and served in the state Senate from 1979-1982. Before that he represented Danvers in the House of Representatives from 1971-1978. He is a partner at King & Gibney LLP in Salem.
“I am honored to have the support and endorsement of former Senator Jack King. He was an exemplary legislator and set the standard for honest, independent and responsive representation. His demonstrated caring and concern for every person in his district are well remembered," said Lovely, adding that the district has been "fortunate" to have such senators as King and Berry.
Lovely is currently serving her 15th year on the Salem City Council and is an attorney as well.
Other than Lovely, former state Rep. John Slattery of Peabody has announced campaign endorsements, picking up support from numerous police and fire unions, teachers, nurses and trade unions, and Governor's Councilor Mary-Ellen Manning announced on Friday that .
Lovely notes her previous pledge not to accept donations from Political Action Committees or special interest groups, but still seeks the support of individuals, be they police, firefighters, teachers, tradespeople, real estate agents, attorneys seniors or veterans.
"The only endorsements I am looking for belong to the individual voters with no strings attached other than my promise to work hard for them with honesty and determination,” Lovely said. She did receive one other endorsement in June from the .
Lovely, Slattery and Manning are contending with Edward Carroll for the 2nd Essex District seat, which covers Peabody, Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield.
. The state primary is Sept. 6.