EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 6, 2012

Tierney-Tisei race too close to call


Tierney breezed to victory in his next seven races, winning them all by double-digit percentage points against relatively unknown Republican opponents.

Tisei and Republicans succeeded in making Tierney’s family’s legal woes a central theme in the campaign and the Salem Democrat struggled to change the narrative.

However, Tierney received a huge turnout in Lynn, winning that city with 70 percent of the vote, and won Salem handily with more than half the vote there. Beverly and Peabody also went for Tierney, while Danvers gave the nod to Tisei.

Tierney’s brothers-in-law were indicted in 2010 for running an illegal gambling operation in Antigua, and the congressman’s wife, Patrice, spent a month in jail after pleading guilty to being “willfully blind” to the source of her brother Robert Eremian’s money. She had managed a bank account for him and, in exchange, accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from him.

But her congressman husband was never implicated in any wrongdoing.

Tierney and Democratic groups tried, with limited success, to paint Tisei as a right-wing radical, linking him to Tea Party ideology, despite his support for legalizing gay marriage, protecting abortion rights and preserving many social programs. Tisei’s liberal stances on social issues have earned him a reputation as a moderate, although his views swing substantially to the right when it comes to fiscal issues. Tisei wants to maintain tax breaks for the wealthy, reduce regulations on business, repeal Obamacare, and is open to restructuring Medicare and other programs.

A resident of Wakefield, Tisei owns a real estate business in Lynnfield with his longtime life partner Bernard Starr.

Tisei came out as gay in 2009 during an unsuccessful campaign to become the state’s lieutenant governor. Tisei’s running mate that year, Republican gubernatorial nominee, Charlie Baker, was on hand in Peabody last night to show support for his old friend.

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