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State Rep Candidates Take Center Stage at Brooksby Village

All four candidates for Peabody's next representative of the 12th Essex District will take part in an informal forum at the retirement complex.

With just under a week left before the primary, all four candidates for State Representative in Peabody are scheduled to appear for a candidates forum at Brooksby Village Wednesday at 2 p.m.

The forum is not structured as a debate, but rather as an opportunity for each candidate to take several minutes to introduce themselves to the residents at the retirement complex, explain their views on the issues and take some questions.

The March 5 primary will feature a contest between Republicans Greg Bunn and Leah Cole and an uncontested ballot spot for Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne. Either Bunn or Cole will then join Dunne and independent candidate Dave Gravel in the April 2 special election.

Gravel, as unenrolled in a political party, will not appear on the primary ballot.

The 12th Essex District seat was left vacant by the death of Joyce Spiliotis in November.

In other campaign news, Gravel was recently endorsed by the Mass. Teachers Association.

Gravel, a former School Committee member and involved for many years in public education, said he was "pleasantly surprised" at the endorsement and sees it as a vote of confidence in his commitment to public education.

The MTA, which does represent some union school employees in Peabody (although not the teachers), interviewed each candidate before declaring its support last Friday.

Cole, meanwhile, not content with just traditional doorknocking, has taken to YouTube with a campaign video to introduce herself to even more Peabody voters.

“I am excited to release this video. It tells about where I come from, which is a working class family, and it outlines my message for my campaign, which is less taxes and more accountability on Beacon Hill so that working class families and small businesses can survive this troublesome economy.”

You can check out the video here.

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker stopped by Bunn headquarters on Walnut Street Saturday morning to lend his support as Bunn officially opened the office. Republican Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins was also on the guest list.

And Bunn also held a campaign event with former state Sen. Richard Tisei the same weekend.

Dunne, likewise, has been out knocking on doors, holding signs and organizing campaign events.

Earlier this month, she formally kicked off her campaign with supporters at the Knights of Columbus. You can find photos from the night on her campaign Facebook page.

Dunne, a longtime close friend of Spiliotis', is being supported in her candidacy by Spiliotis' husband Dick Jarvis.

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