EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

July 4, 2014

A House district divided: Incumbent DiZoglio vs. DeCologero

Rep. DiZoglio seeks endorsement 'of the people' Challenger DeCologero solicits backing of local pols

North Andover Democrat Phil DeCologero is building on the connections he made working, volunteering and doing political grunt work in North Andover, Methuen and Lawrence to build establishment political support for his challenge to Methuen state Rep. Diana DiZoglio, also a Democrat.

A number of local officials, including those in DiZoglio’s hometown of Methuen, have lined up behind DeCologero, the latest being Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, who announced his endorsement Monday.

But DiZoglio, a freshman legislator, is working the retail end, doing the lower-profile work of knocking on doors, holding signs and showing up at any event she can find. It’s a repeat of her 2012 playbook when she upset incumbent Democrat David Torrisi of North Andover in the primary with basic neighborhood political campaigning.

DiZoglio, 31, has been attending a raft of events in the district, which includes parts of Methuen, North Andover, Lawrence and Haverhill, and knocking on doors. That kind of retail politics that helped her unseat Torrisi in 2012 in the Democratic primary. She said she is not focused on the endorsements of other elected officials.

“The endorsement I’m seeking is of the people in the district,” she said. “Endorsements can be a good thing and a bad thing. I have not solicited any local officials for an endorsement up to this point. We have a good working relationship but that hasn’t been my focus. I’ve been busy doing the work of the people, getting bills passed into law.”

She said she has been campaigning with all of her free time, including door knocking, making phone calls and holding signs. “I have more of a grassroots focus,” she said.

DeCologero, 27, a North Andover native and graduate of Merrimack College, worked for two state reps – including former state Rep. Barbara L’Italien, whose district once included part of eastern Methuen. In high school, he was a youth member to the state Democratic committee.

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