In Lowell: Posed Past Politicos
March 12, 2012 by Marie Posted in Greater Lowell, History, Lowell, Politics 5 Comments
Every once in a while there is a photo posted on this site of politicos from our Lowell/Greater Lowell past. I came across this photo posted elsewhere by LHS board member and young activist Lowellian Corey Sciuto. Do you remember these players and anything about their connections? Where was the photo taken?
5 Responses to In Lowell: Posed Past Politicos
I’m going to say the Mayor’s Reception room, Left to right.
Jim Shannon, Ray Rourke, don’t know, Paul Tsongas
Shannon and Tsongas held the same Congressional seat. Tsongas and Rourke were City Councilors.
The fourth man, standing between Ray Rourke and Paul Tsongas, is Ray Lord Jr. He was first elected to the Lowell City Council in 1977 when he finished third. He was re-elected in 1979, finishing 8th, but he was defeated in 1981 when he finished 14th. Lord’s father, Ray Lord Sr., also served on the Lowell City Council and as Mayor.
1977 was also Ray Rourke’s first election to the city council. Since he had been a long-time state representative by that point, he was elected mayor in January 1978, making him the only first-term councilor (in my memory) to become mayor.
In November 1978, Tsongas was elected to the US Senate after having served as the Congressman for the Fifth Congressional District. Jim Shannon was elected as his successor in Congress. Because of the timing of the various elections, I’m guessing this photo was taken in 1979.
Taken looking toward the back, left corner of the Council chamber. The clock is the same that is hanging on the wall today.
All four are correctly identified. Dick has aptly described the four and their relationships but there is a bit more. In the 1978 Dem primary to replace PET in the 5th, Ray Rourke was considered the guy to beat and the 20-something kid from Lawrence – Jim Shannon upset the popular Lowell Mayor. Later, the Mayor’s Secretary Marty Meehan joined the Shannon Congressional staff. Jim ran for the Dem nomination for the PET U.S. Senate seat in 1984 but lost to John Kerry who himself ran for the 5th CD seat after besting a lot of well-known Lowell candidates but unlike Shannon in 1978, Kerry lost in 1972 to GOP nominee Paul Cronin later beaten by PET in 1974. Shannon later became Mass AG. At one time I could probably have ID-ed the 1076 Lowellians who voted for Shannon in 1978 – we were very active in that campaign. I too later worked for Jim in the Lowell Congressional office with Marty and Paul Sheehy – the Lowell candidate to beat in the 1972 Congressional race. Is this all too much information?