EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 25, 2012

Brown confident about prospects in Merrimack Valley

By Douglas Moser dmoser@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown expressed confidence yesterday in his prospects in the Merrimack Valley, an area key to his securing a full term in November.

His Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, said yesterday that she has significant support here, pointing to endorsements she picked up Tuesday at a rally that attracted dozens of people in Methuen.

“We’re doing really well,” Brown said during an editorial meeting at The Eagle-Tribune yesterday. He said he “has some pockets where I’ll do really well,” and other parts of the state where he wants to “chip away” at a perceived Warren advantage.

One such place is Lawrence, where Brown highlighted his work with U.S. Sen. John Kerry in securing grants for hospitals and police, and in parts of Boston like West Roxbury, where he recently opened an campaign office, and South Boston, where he has the endorsement of Democratic former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.

For her part, Warren picked up the endorsement of state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, D-Methuen, and Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni at a rally Tuesday at Mann Orchards. She spoke to a crowd of between 75 and 100 people outside about her commitment to fighting for working families.

“Hundreds of people turned out to cheer Elizabeth on at the U Mass-Lowell debate and then after at her watch party,” Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards said. “Elizabeth is in this race because she wants to fight for working people and small businesses. Scott Brown has stood squarely with big oil, billionaires and national Republicans who understand that this race could determine which party controls the United States Senate.”

Brown said he thought the problems in Washington were fixable, but pointed to a dwindling number of moderates in the Senate, with Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe and North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad retiring, and Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar losing his primary race earlier this year.

He hoped that if Republican nominee Mitt Romney wins the presidential election, gridlock in the federal government could be eased with an open line of communication between Congress and the president, something he feels is lacking with the current White House. If President Obama wins, problems could still be addressed “if he moves to the center like (President Bill) Clinton did,” Brown said.

Brown said the actual unemployment rate is much higher than the official rate because too many people have stopped looking for word. “We’re not in a recovery,” he said. Creating regulatory and tax certainty would encourage better economic growth, he said.

Recent polls have shown Warren with a slight lead, including a new poll released yesterday by WBUR and MassINC that showed Warren with a 48-43 percent lead, with 7 percent undecided. Two previous polls conducted this month by WBUR/MassINC have showed the lead between the two candidates alternating. Other polls released this month have Warren ahead by a few percentage points.

In 2010, Brown carried most of the communities in the Lawrence area. Overall, his total in Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen and North Andover was 39,447 to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s 28,301. He carried every one of those communities with the exception of Lawrence. He won the election statewide by a margin of about 107,000 votes out of 2.3 million cast.

The election is Nov. 6.

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