L'Italien Rides Lawrence Support To State Senate Victory
Nov 05, 2014 12:11AM
By Rick Spencer
Newly elected State Senator Barbara L'Italien chats with constituents Carlita Suarez, Eda Arriata and Jahely Cespedes Tuesday night.
(Editor's note: Your Tewksbury Today's coverage of Campaign 2014 is sponsored by Jon Ryan's Pub's, Where Fresh is the Standard, with locations in Tewksbury and Billerica.)
Attention Tewksbury residents,
The people of Lawrence have spoken.
Andover Democrat Barbara L'Italien is your new state senator.
In spite of losing to Republican rival Alex Vispoli in three out of the four towns that make up the 2nd Middlesex-Essex state senate district, former state representative Barbara L'Italien will be heading back to Beacon Hill come January. L'Italien's return to elected office comes primarily at the behest of the voters in the City of Lawrence, whose overwhelming support of L'Italien easily offset solid Vispoli victories in Tewksbury, Andover and Dracut.
Unofficially, Tewksbury residents cast their votes in favor of Vispoli (also of Andover) by a margin of 5800-to-4827. In the two candidates' home town, Vispoli won comfortably, 7314-to-5458. In Dacut, Vispoli received 5423 votes to L'Italien's 4531.
But the suburbs held little sway in an election heavily weighted by voters who call the city of Lawrence home. L'Italien crushed Vispoli, 9687-to-2948, in Lawrence and the final tallies showed L'Italien winning by over 2,500 votes, 24,503-to-21,845.
While pleased with her victory and the large voter turnout on Tuesday, the fact that three out of the four towns she will represent turned thumbs down on her was not lost on L'Italien.
"We actually did better than we thought we would in Tewksbury," she said. "And my hope is that I will be able to get to know more people in Tewksbury and build from there.
"Andover is my home town. I think people know me fairly well there," she added. "I have the best interests of Andover, Tewksbury and Dracut at heart. I think we did okay in Dracut and Tewksbury. We held our own. We weren't anticipating winning, we just wanted to hold our own. So I see this as the beginning and the base, and I look forward to partnering with people in all three communities to do what's needed in all three communities."
As a four-term state repesentative from Andover, L'Italien's legacy was that of a legislator who served those constituents with some of the greatest needs; the elderly, the disabled, and those with special needs. She believes that message resonated with voters again in 2014.
"I was a leader in the entire statehouse on these issues," L'Italien said. "I am a firm believer that a safety net is always needed. I've always believed that we need to take care of those who are less fortunate."
L'Italien pledged to continue the projects started by Sen. Barry Feingold, who she will replace, and also pledged to continue to be an advocate for the elderly.
"I also want to think of new and innovative ways of helping all four communitiis attract jobs to the communities, to strengthen our schools and I am a firm believer in the safety net for those who need it," L'Italien said.
"One of the things I'd like to work on is helping seniors get home care instead of going directly to a nursing home," she added. "I think we can do better for our seniors."
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