NORTH ANDOVER — The results of a straw poll taken at the North Andover Democratic Town Committee’s Annual Scholarship Breakfast on Sunday were very encouraging for veteran Congressman Edward Markey, who is running for U.S. senator in a special election June 25.
Eighty percent of those who cast ballots in the straw poll supported Markey. His opponent in the April 30 primary, Congressman Stephen Lynch of South Boston, garnered 17 percent.
Markey, of Malden, has been in Congress since 1976. He and Lynch are running in the special election to succeed John Kerry, who resigned to become secretary of state.
More than 150 local Democrats gathered at the North Andover Country Club. Besides lots of socializing and politicking, they honored this year’s Democrat of the Year, Walter Kirby of Johnson Street.
“So many people gave so much time and energy in 2012 to elect candidates that represent the Democratic Party’s values and ideals,” Town Committee Vice Chairman Philip DeCologero said. “But what makes Walter stand out is that he didn’t just work, he got other people to work. Walter truly broadened the tent by bringing in new volunteers, new activists – and as we already find ourselves in another election season, Walter has kept these people engaged and involved. He’s been selfless in his time, tireless in his work, and a true leader for all Democrats.”
A surprised Kirby thanked his family and said, “If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic,” to applause and laughter.
Emceed by Mark DiSalvo, special guests included Secretary of State William Galvin, State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Congressman John Tierney, D-Salem, and Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni.
“I am excited by the turnout,” said Town Committee Chairwoman Tricia Melvin. “It really does get better year after year.”
Former state Rep. David Torrisi, D-North Andover, received special recognition at the breakfast. DiSalvo invited Torrisi to the front of the room and said: