LAWRENCE — In the race for support from municipal leaders in the 14th Essex House District, Philip DeCologero of North Andover appears to be in the lead.
In his hometown, Selectman Richard Vaillancourt is his campaign chairman and Moderator Mark DiSalvo strongly backs his candidacy for state representative.
A few weeks ago, Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni announced his endorsement for DeCologero, who is running against Rep. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, in the Sept. 9 primary. DeCologero served as executive assistant to Zanni before he declared his candidacy.
Yesterday, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera declared his support for DeCologero, calling him the best candidate to make this city better.
“I know Phil, I’ve worked with Phil, and I am eager to work with him again,” Rivera told a crowd of supporters outside the Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“Phil is running in a district that is very much a Merrimack Valley seat,” Rivera said. “He’s worked for these communities in the Statehouse and in City Hall. He has proven that his commitment to our communities and people doesn’t stop at one community’s border. No matter which town or city you call home, Phil has a track record of fighting to make our communities better. I’ve seen the energy he brings to the job, and I know he will be the leader we can trust to work hard for us each and every day.”
The 14th Essex includes five of the eight precincts in North Andover, three each in Lawrence and Methuen and a single precinct in Haverhill. A Merrimack College graduate, DeCologero has worked as a legislative aide to Rep. Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, and Barbara L’Italien when she served as a state representative.
“It means a lot to have Mayor Rivera place his trust and support in me,” DeCologero said. “I can feel the energy as I campaign, not just in Lawrence, but across the Merrimack Valley. People want Lawrence to thrive, they’re excited about the direction it is moving in. Much of that is because they trust Lawrence’s leadership, and if there is one word Mayor River embodies, it’s trust.”
Oscar Camargo of North Andover, an Army National Guard veteran, is also running in the Democratic primary for the 14th Essex seat. The winner will face selectmen Chairwoman Rosemary Connelly Smedile, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary, in the Nov. 4 general election.