By: Oscar Camargo – November 2014
Election Day has come and gone and for some, it’s a measure of relief. In North Andover, the phone calls during dinner time have ended. Those annoying political advertisements on television are all but gone. Mailers and fliers have stopped flooding the mailbox. In some ways, it seems as though the life of the world has moved forward.
For others, it has become a time of reflection. What do the results mean? What does it say about the direction we’re moving towards? How will our newly elected leaders respond to this new political reality? It’s a lot to take in, and depending on what side of the political spectrum you lean towards, it’s either the dawn of a new age or the end of an era.
Personally, I’m excited about these new changes. Of course, when you think about it, nothing has really changed. The vast majority of incumbents who sought re-election won, and some rather handedly. That’s rather typical when you consider that re-election rates for incumbents are always on the high end.
What I am excited about are the results that came out of the races where there was no incumbent, or the incumbent lost in the primary. The most obvious example is the Governor’s race where Charlie Baker defeated Martha Coakley. In North Andover, it was no gross exaggeration to say that Baker simply crushed Coakley. Then again, North Andover residents chose Baker in 2010 and Kerry Healey in 2006 so there shouldn’t be much of a surprise there.
What was surprising was the congressional race that pitted Democrat Seth Moulton against Republican Richard Tisei. Despite the fact that Tisei won in North Andover, that victory was by a razor thin margin of 14 votes. In 2012, Tisei won North Andover by a whopping 2,585 votes when he ran against John Tierney.
So what’s my point?
My point is that here in North Andover, like in much of the Merrimack Valley, we’re looking for leaders that provide a counterbalance to business as usual. Baker hammered the notion of leading with a bipartisan approach. He now needs to work with a Democratic-dominated state legislature. Moulton and his Democratic colleagues will also need to work with a Republican-controlled Congress if they’re to be an effective body.
If anything, this election was a shot across the bow. Around these parts, we’re not political ideologues, but we are political pragmatists. We want our elected officials to cooperate together even if they’re not on the same team. We need responsible leaders and want practical results. The rest of the country seems to think so as well—let’s see if it works.
Oscar Camargo is a North Andover resident and an Army veteran. He is an active volunteer in his church and local community.