There was lots of activity in Democratic circles across the Commonwealth this past Saturday as caucuses were held to elect delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention scheduled to open on Labor Day in Charlotte, NC. The Massachusetts 135-member delegation will be filled out by vote at the DSC meeting in May. Fall-out from the recent U. S. Census and redistricting saw only nine caucuses in re-numbered and re-aligned districts. Democrats from Billerica and Tewksbury along with a few from Andover could not join their former 5th District brethren in the new 3rd District caucus at the Elks in Lowell. Now part of the 6th District – Tewkbury DTC members traveled to Peabody High School early on a beautiful Saturday morning along scenic backroads and byways in Wilmington, North Reading, Reading, North Andover, Middleton or on Rte. 93 or Rte. 128.
Our Tewksbury crowd felt welcome – well almost! Well-known, longtime town Democratic activist Rita O’Brien Dee was told that her name wasn’t on the official voters list. When asked about the list – they said it was the official list from the Town of Tewksbury! I assume from the Clerk’s office. Horrors! Rita – a Tewksbury native – is a long-time Tewksbury poll worker – how could she not be on the list? Whew! MassDems and the Secretary of State’s office cleared her for voting. We had a local candidate to support – our town committee treasurer Bob Demers. We district-newbies sat down-front so we didn’t miss a thing! Congressman Tierney ran the proceedings himself. Things went quickly and smoothly. While Bob didn’t win one of the coverted spots, our friend, DSC member and 50-year Democratic actvist Tom Larkin of Bedford did win. The full slate includes: Ralph Edwards of Swampscott, Tom Larkin of Bedford, Louis Masiello of Salisbury (fomerly of Methuen), Stanley Slepoy of Rowley, Catherine Bayliss of Gloucester, Stella Pierce of Beverly, Mary Ann Rutter of Boxford, Margaret Somer of Swampscott and alternate Dr. Donald Green of Reading.
On a side note – It’s a small world – sitting in front of me at the 6th CD caucus at Peabody HS was Bob Gallagher – now an ordained, delayed vocation Episcopal priest – who was raised in Pawtucketville and is a Keith Academy Class of 1958 grad. We had a nice chat about Lowell. Trying to place him in the vast cast of Lowell Gallaghers, I learned that his father Joe Gallagher had painting business. His sisters went to Notre Dame Academy in Tyngsboro. He fondly recalled our Bishop McNamara who was Fr. John at St. Rita’s parish back in the day before he became a Navy chaplain and Father Hyder – later Monsignor – from St. Margaret’s, Fr. Spike Morissette and the Lowell Oblates. We find the Lowell connection everywhere!
Here’s a photo of the April 21, 2012 6th CD caucus gathering – from Congressman Tierney’s Facebook page: