It may sound at first like an about-face on her pledge more than two months ago, but state Senate candidate Joan Lovely says her endorsement Monday by the Mass. Women's Political Caucus Political Action Committee is not financial in nature.
“We are very proud to endorse Joan Lovely for Massachusetts Senate,” said MWPC Executive Director Priti Rao in a press statement.
“Joan has been an outstanding public servant with her 15 years on the Salem City Council. She understands the needs and issues most pertinent to the 2nd Essex community. Working on the local level, she has seen the effects of budget cuts on local citizens and she will be a tremendous advocate for bringing resources back to this district,” said Rao.
The PAC calls itself "a multi-partisan organization" working to get more women into public office and public policy positions. and generally increase women's involvement in the political process.
“I am truly honored to receive the endorsement of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus,” said Lovely in the same statement, noting she is the only woman currently serving on the Salem council.
Lovely went on to re-state her pledge to not accept financial contributions from PACs or special interest groups with an interest in the Senate race. She had also i to adopt the same policy, but neither Mary-Ellen Manning nor John Slattery accepted the challenge.
Manning, in fact, raised the issue again last week, with two recent campaign fundraisers with local real estate agents and attorneys.
, calling the criticism a "debate day stunt," "unfounded brick throwing" and a long overdue response to her April 2 letter. All three front-runners in the race were set to debate that night at the Moose Hall in Salem.
Lovely said last week she was grateful to receive contributions from individuals across a wide range of professions, including even attorneys and real estate agents -- friends, family and people she's worked with over the years.
"I have kept the pledge I made and ask my opponents to do so, as well,” she said, adding that she similarly pledges to represent the district without favoritism.
“As the only woman currently serving on the Salem City Council, I am keenly aware of the issues affecting women and their families,” Lovely said in Monday's statement. “I will work to create jobs and economic opportunities for my constituents, will work to contain the costs of healthcare coverage, and to improve the public education system.”
To date, Lovely has not announced any further endorsements, while Slattery has picked up support from most of the police and fire unions within the district (also at the state level) and Manning has not announced any endorsements.
The 2nd Essex District seat in the Senate includes Peabody, Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield. Longtime Peabody Sen. Fred Berry is retiring this year.
The primary election for the Senate race, which pits Manning, Lovely and Slattery against Edward Carroll for the Democratic nomination, will be held Sept. 6.