EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 6, 2012

Scott Brown asked for support of moderate Democrats

As Republican Sen. Scott Brown picked up a handful of endorsements from moderate to conservative Democrats and independents last week, several of those supporters said their decisions were at least partly influenced by a basic gesture: Brown asked for them.

Locally, former Democratic state Rep. Arthur Broadhurst of Methuen announced at Mann Orchard in Methuen on Thursday that he would support Brown over the senator's likely Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren. Later that day, Brown traveled to Westford and Leominster to pick up endorsements by former Democratic state Rep. Geoff Hall, former Democratic state Sen. Bob Antonioni and current independent Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella.

All four men said that Brown or his staff had contacted them seeking their support.

"Like (former U.S. House Speaker) Tip O'Neill said, you've got to ask people for their vote. Scott asked me for my vote," said Hall, who now is an attorney in Westford. "As he's going across the state, he's asking a lot of people."

Broadhurst said in an email after the event Thursday that no one else had contacted him seeking an endorsement, and both Hall and Mazzarella said they had not been contacted by the Warren camp either.

"I didn't hear from her," said Mazzarella, who said he has supported both Democrats and Republicans in the past. "I think sometimes people make an assumption that you're going to support someone in a particular way."

Antonioni, now an attorney in Leominster, said he worked with Brown in the state Senate. Brown asked him for an endorsement during a social conversation on another matter, he said. The Warren campaign did not reach out for support.

Last Monday, former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and former Worcester Mayor and current City Councilor Konnie Lukes, both Democrats, endorsed Brown. Flynn also has endorsed former Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

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