EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 22, 2013

DiNuccio proclaims Lantigua 'King of Lawrence

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — The always colorful and controversial Al DiNuccio of Methuen is back on Facebook, looking trim and healthy. He’s also gotten back into the political game, but not as a candidate. This time, he’s making endorsements. He’s endorsed William Lantigua in Lawrence and Steve Zanni in Methuen.

DiNuccio lost his 2011 mayoral bid by only 34 votes to Zanni in a contentious race that came down to one big issue — privatizing the city’s ambulance service. DiNuccio was for it and Zanni was against it, and now the two are pictured arm-in-arm on Zanni’s Facebook page. Zanni called DiNuccio’s endorsement “inspiring.” Zanni is being challenged by City Councilor-at-Large Jennifer Aziz Kannan, who has served on the council for the past six years.

On his Facebook page, DiNuccio proclaimed Lantigua “King of Lawrence,” and said “put a crown on him now, like him or not he’s the man … I say he’s done a great job for the last four years.”

Patrick O’Donoghue vs. Dalia Diaz

His glasses were chipped and his ears were still ringing, but former mayoral candidate James Patrick O’Donoghue was back on the campaign trail on Friday, three days after the editor of a local weekly newspaper smacked him so hard that his glasses flew off.

“I wish I could say it with more force, but I’ve had a headache since Tuesday,” O’Donoghue quipped as he told about 200 people at a rally for Daniel Rivera that he was endorsing Rivera for mayor.

“It’s rough getting knocked around in this city,” O’Donoghue told the crowd. “It was bad enough just getting 305 votes.”

O’Donoghue came in fifth in a field of six, far behind Lantigua, who received 5,725 votes, and Rivera, who got 2,799 in Tuesday’s preliminary election.

Lantigua’s lopsided victory and Rivera’s distant second place finish was the news of the night Tuesday, but much of the buzz since then has been about the slap O’Donoghue got from Rumbo publisher Dalia Diaz after he complained about her coverage of the campaign while the two joined several hundred others at City Hall waiting for the votes to be tallied late Tuesday.

Police are investigating.

Kannan receives police endorsements

METHUEN — Mayoral candidate Jennifer Aziz Kannan has received endorsements from the Methuen Police Patrolmens Association and the Methuen Police Superior Officers Association.

“Jennifer has always been a friend of the police department. She has always been available if we ever needed anything,” said Officer Thomas McMenamon Jr., president of the patrolmens association. “She always has an open door and is always willing to help out. She’s a people person. She listens to everyone. She’s approachable. She’s done a lot for this city.”

Lt. Frank Korn, president of the superior officers association, said Kannan received their endorsement because she “is personable, will look at both sides of an issue, is reasonable, and takes a balanced approach to problem solving.”

“She understands Methuen,” Korn said.

Kannan, a three-term city councilor, said she was humbled by the vote of confidence from the two police associations. The Methuen Police Patrolmens Association has 69 members. The Methuen Police Superior Officers Association has 21 members.

“I am honored that the officers have faith in me and believe that I can be a fair-minded leader,” Kannan said. “Public safety is critical to our citizens and to the success of making our city an attractive place to live, work and play.”

The Methuen election is Nov. 5.

Forum on money in politics planned

The League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill will host a public forum titled “Money in Politics” on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Spurk Building at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, 100 Elliott St. The topic of discussion is the influence of the campaign finance system in the electoral process and the threat to the vitality of democracy. The forum will be lead by Harvard Law Professor Dr. Lawrence Lessig, founder of Rootstrikers, a nonpartisan organization fighting the corrupting influence of money in politics as the root of America’s problems, and Jeffrey Clements, president and co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, nonpartisan campaign to challenge the creation of constitutional rights for corporations. Former State Sen. Susan Tucker of Andover is moderator.

This forum is being held in cooperation with the Contemporary Affairs Club of Northern Essex Community College and the Haverhill Democratic and Republican City Committees. More information is available from League President Carole Pelchat at 978-702-4502. Visit online at www.lwv-gh.org.

Lantigua remembers mom on election night

Before the polls closed Tuesday night, Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua told supporters jammed into his campaign headquarters on Essex Street that he visited his mother’s grave earlier in the day. Ana Elvira Soto died in 2010.

Lantigua said he often goes to the cemetery whenever he has a big decision to make and needs to meditate on it.

“She was my closest ally and my opponent because we argued on some issues,” Lantigua said. “There are special moments in your life when you have to meditate and before knowing the results, being with her was very comforting.

Atkinson on the mend

METHUEN — City Councilor Jamie Atkinson had to take a short break from his re-election campaign for Central District councilor. He was admitted to Holy Family Sept. 12 for surgery and was released Friday.

“I want to thank everyone for their well wishes, telephone calls, and visits. The timing was unfortunate but I am ready to get back on the campaign trail and continue my service to the residents of the Central District,” Atkinson said.

Former GOP VEEP candidate coming to NH to help Guinta

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, is headed to New Hampshire.

The Wisconsin congressman is set to visit the state in October to help former House colleague, Frank Guinta. Guinta was defeated last fall, but is expected to launch a new campaign in the coming weeks.

Ryan confirmed the trip on Friday. The visit marks his first to New Hampshire since he campaigned across the state for Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful presidential bid last fall.

Ryan says he’s looking forward to the visit and notes that the people of New Hampshire were hospitable to his family last year.

New Hampshire traditionally hosts the nation’s first presidential primary, and Ryan is thought to be weighing a presidential bid of his own.