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By: Tom Duggan – June 19, 2014
Lawrence State Representative Marcos Devers, a Democrat, held his official reelection kickoff Thursday night as Salvatore’s Restaurant at Sal’s Riveralk with a cast of who’s who in attendance supporting the two term representative.
Candidate for governor Steve Grossman was on hand to support Devers as was Andover State Senator Barry Finegold who is running for State Treasurer, House Majority Leader Rep. Ron Mariano of Quincy, State Representative Diana DiZoglio of Methuen, Rep. Linda Dean Campbell of Methuen, Rep. Mike Moran of Brighton, Lawrence City Council President Modesto Maldonado and Councilor Kendrys Vasquez, Doris Rodriguez, candidate for state senate, Jim Blatchford, Vice Chairman of the Lawrence School Committee, and Wayne Hayes, president of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood as well as a dozen or more elected officials and candidates for office.
Devers faces two opponents on the November ballot, former Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua is running as an Independent and his ally Roger Twomey is running to divide the anti-Lantigua votes as a Republican.
A BITTER RIVALRY
Devers was elected in 2010 when Lantigua was forced to resign after being elected mayor. Members of the legislature were furious that Lantigua was holding two public jobs and threatened to kill a $35M bailout loan for the City of Lawrence saying Lantigua was “double dipping”.
After losing his reelection for mayor to Dan Rivera by 81 votes, Lantigua told the Valley Patriot back in November, “You can tell your friend, Marcos I’m coming after him and if I have to put someone else in the race to beat him I’m going to.” Lantigua also said when he reclaimed his legislative seat he was going after Mayor Dan Rivera next.
Devers endorsed Rivera over Lantigua last year in the mayor’s race, something Rivera says he will not forget.
RETURNING THE FAVOR
“When I was running for mayor we really did do something spectacular,” Rivera told the crowd from the microphone. “If it wasn’t for a lot of the people who support Marcos I would not be mayor today,” he said to the applause of the crowd.
“Marocs is my State representative at 12 Jefferson Street and we are very proud of him and the work that he does for our city. More importantly when I was running for mayor he made a really big decision to support me [against Lantigua] and for me that was an honor.”
“At the end we came together and Marcos and the others who we fought together I am so so grateful.”
“So when somebody said ‘oh Marcos is going to have a race’ I thought well, people have races all the time, and then I was told somebody specific is going to run against Marcos (Lantigua) I said ‘Oh my God”, Mayor Rivera said taking great pains not to mention Lantigua’s name.
“But then I said, OK now are going to do exactly what we did before, we are going to work hard, we’re going to come together and we are going to show people that the good people of Lawrence want good representation at The State House. They want honest representation at The State House. They want somebody who works hard, and looks like us, and talks like us, and has our experiences and that’s Marcos Devers.”
“I’m glad you all helped me become mayor, I’m very thankful, I’ll never forget all your faces. The time we spent in the rain, the cold, knocking doors, making phone calls, but that made the difference. All of you made the difference. I think we have to do the same thing now. We have to work hard. We only won because we worked harder. We worked more positively. We’ve got to make sure we do that again for Marcos, he definitely deserves it. But, not so much because he deserves it, this thing about candidates isn’t so much about us the candidates it’s about you. He deserves to be put back [in the legislature] because we deserve the quality of the guy Marocs Devers is. Let’s go Marcos!”
SUPPORT IN THE HOUSE
House Majority leader Rep. Ron Mariano (D) Quincy also spoke on Devers’ behalf.
“As I look out I see an array of house members who are here to support Marcos,” Mariano said.
“We are here because Marcos is our friend, because we believe what Marcos stands for and what he does for his community. We do not want to lose Marcos Devers. We need you, everyone in this room to get your neighbors and get your friends to support Marcos. This is going to be an election for the ages. This will determine how Lawrence is perceived for a long, long time. You have a team, you are building a team that will get recognition statewide because of their efforts and commitment to good government. You can’t let that be torn asunder. It is extremely important and I can’t stress enough, I’m here from Quincy … but I’m here because I know how important this is to Lawrence. I know how important it is to Massachusetts. And I certainly know how important it is to the house of representative.”
“I don’t want to beat a dead horse but Marcos is in a fight. We are here to help him and we need you to help him.”
Candidate for governor Steve Grossman was on hand to support Devers as was Andover State Senator Barry Finegold who is running for State Treasurer, North Andover Town Moderator Mark DiSalvo, Methuen City Councilor Tom Ciulla, House Majority Leader Rep. Ron Mariano of Quincy, State Representative Diana DiZoglio of Methuen, rep. Linda Dean Campbell of Methuen, Rep. Mike Moran of Brighton, Lawrence City Council President Modesto Maldonado and Councilors Kendrys Vasquez and Eileen Bernal, Doris Rodriguez, candidate for state senate, Jim Blatchford, Vice Chairman of the Lawrence School Committee, and Wayne Hayes, president of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood as well as a dozen or more elected officials and candidates for office.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4HXUGQjLng&feature=youtu.be&w=480&h=420]