METHUEN — A former legislative aide has announced she will take on state Rep. David Torrisi as a Democrat this fall.
In a press release sent yesterday, Diana DiZoglio of Methuen announced her intentions to run in the newly-drawn 14th Essex House District, which includes most of North Andover and some precincts in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill. The district has been represented by Torrisi, D-North Andover, since 1999.
DiZoglio did not respond to several calls and e-mails asking her to speak about her possible candidacy. She must return nomination papers signed by at least 100 registered voters in the district in order to make the Sept. 6 Democratic Party ballot.
DiZoglio has never run for office, but did serve as a legislative aide to freshman Rep. Paul Adams, R-Andover.
While serving as Adams' aide, DiZoglio and a Braintree lawmaker were investigated by House Speaker Robert DeLeo for allegations of inappropriate behavior, but were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
DiZoglio and state Rep. Mark Cusack were found inside the House chamber in the pre-dawn hours of April 29. The investigation found there had been a post-session gathering April 28 in DeLeo's office where some people were drinking beer and that the chamber was entered through the speaker's private door.
Following the investigation, the 26-year-old Cusack issued an apology to DeLeo and then publicly said, "I apologize to my family, friends, colleagues and constituents for any appearance of impropriety." The speaker and Cusack agreed the chamber "belongs to the people of Massachusetts" and should be reserved for official business and ceremony.
DiZoglio's press release does not say when her employment ended with Adams.
DiZoglio's release states she went on to write articles for The Valley Patriot and was hired as "chief of staff to the president at Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts." It does not state if she is still employed by the state firefighters' union.
Other qualifications DiZoglio included in her release were "multiple merit-based scholarships and fellowships" she received while at Wellesley College pursuing degrees in Spanish and psychology and internships at "various faith-based community centers."
"I provide a fresh set of eyes to the problems that plague our communities. I approach every issue with an open mind, one that is not entrenched in the same old party politics," she wrote in the release. "I believe that our communities deserve someone who spends more time listening to their constituents than they do promoting their own personal agenda or political future."
Torrisi will be seeking an eighth-term in the 14th Essex. North Andover School Committee member Karin Rhoton is running as a Republican for the legislative post.
The general election is Nov. 6.
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