NORTH ANDOVER – They went to Jaime’s Restaurant expecting to attend a victory party.
Instead they heard a concession speech from state Rep. David Torrisi, whose defeat in yesterday’s Democratic primary shocked just about everybody, including the winner, Diana DiZoglio of Methuen.
DiZoglio carried every community in the district except North Andover and beat Torrisi by nearly 200 votes.
“I am so grateful for the time and energetic, consistent effort that my family, friends and neighbors have contributed to this effort. We really can make a difference. The quote that I live by is do what you can where you are with what you have. We have done just that,” DiZoglio told The Eagle-Tribune.
While Torrisi, first elected to the House in 1998, said he was “disappointed” at the outcome, he seemed to take his defeat like a good sport.
Holding his 5-week-old daughter Ella, he said, “This is what defines me. I love being a dad.”
Meanwhile, over at the Mogador on Merrimack Street in Methuen, an exultant DiZoglio, 29, basked in the glow of a victory that was hard-fought – and a surprise.
“I can’t believe it,” said DiZoglio, who was making her first run for political office.
“She didn’t have any money,” several supporters remarked. Indeed, DiZoglio knocked on an estimated 4,400 doors in the sprawling 14th Essex District, which encompasses five precincts in North Andover, three precincts in Methuen, another three in Lawrence and just one in Haverhill.
If a voter was not home, she would leave a handwritten note, asking for the person to consider voting for her Sept. 6.
“Money talks, Diana walks,” DiZoglio joked, displaying the sole of a substantially worn-out sneaker.
Torrisi acknowledged DiZoglio’s determined effort at Jaime’s.
“I do want to congratulate Diana. She worked very hard,” Torrisi said.