By: Santiago Reyes Cruz, Jr. – July, 2022
This year the race for state representative in Lawrence and Methuen will be decided in the September 6th primary – not the November election – because there are no Republicans running in this race. That means more people need to vote on the September 6th Democrat primary, instead of waiting for the November final election.
Voters in Methuen and Lawrence have a choice this year between former Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua, current Methuen City Councilor Jimmy McCarty, and current Lawrence City Councilor Estela Reyes.
While many in Methuen may be tempted to vote for McCarty because he’s a Methuen City Councilor, a quick look at his record on the council might make you think twice before doing that.
First, McCarty is part of the good-old-boy network in Methuen. He is backed by all the same insiders who got Methuen into the current mess we are in.
McCarty supported “defunding the police” as he gleefully voted to lay off of over 30 Methuen police officers to punish the chief of police. That vote put Methuen citizens in danger with longer response times and fewer cops to respond to each call for help from the public. It was a disgraceful display of putting politics above the safety of Methuen citizens, but McCarty didn’t care because he was obsessed with revenge against certain cops within the department.
Estela Reyes not only supports police officers; she is married to one. She understands the dangers these cops deal with every day. Living in a crime filled neighborhood herself, Reyes knows how important it is to have more cops responding to crime – not less.
As a Lawrence City Councilor, she has never once voted to cut police for any reason. In fact, she voted to increase the police budget every single year she has been on the city council.
When asked her about her opponent’s position on police versus her commitment to law enforcement and keeping neighborhoods safe here is what she said;
“Cutting police officers is a violation of the sacred trust every elected official has to their constituents. I would never vote to cut police funding for any reason. If that makes some people in my party unhappy that’s their problem. Our police officers risk their lives every time they pull over a car or answer a call.”
“When the people of Methuen and Lawrence call 911, they need to know that if their life is in danger, police officers are minutes away to help. That doesn’t happen when you cut 30 cops from the city budget. No matter how much you hate the chief of police, you don’t take it out on the public. We have an obligation to protect people first – everything else needs to come second. If I am elected state representative on September 6th, I will be introducing bills at the state house every single year to increase funding for the Methuen Police Department. Others had their chance to do that at the local level and they purposely chose to cut cops instead of adding cops. You have my promise, your public safety funding will be my number one priority.”
What’s more, as a city councilor, Estela Reyes knows that there is no room for political infighting and grandstanding at public meetings.
Unlike Councilor McCarty, Reyes is a professional who has never shouted anyone down at a public meeting. She has never attacked anyone’s integrity in public, either. Instead, Estela Reyes has commanded the respect of her colleagues, and treats them all with respect. The one time that a city councilor got out of control during a Lawrence City Council meeting, Estela Reyes simply picked up her things and left the room, refusing to be part of the circus.
By contrast, her opponent has egged on the incivility at Methuen City Council Meetings. He has attacked people’s personal lives, questioned their integrity, and created a toxic environment on the council that gave a black eye to Methuen on multiple occasions.
Estela Reyes is a real estate agent, a homeless advocate, a mother, a wife, and a homeowner who pays taxes.
Jimmy McCarty on the other hand lives in his mom’s basement, has no job, and pays no taxes. That’s a fact.
Estela Reyes is running for state representative so she can increase police funding, bring in grants to help Methuen with sewer and infrastructure projects, and hold the schools accountable for educating your kids. She wants to make sure her kids live in a better community.
Jimmy McCarty is running for state representative because he needs a job.
The people of Methuen deserve more.
The people of Lawrence deserve more.
We all deserve someone who thinks of the voters first, and that person is Estela Reyes for state representative on September 6th. ◊