On Taking the High Road: Mayoral Candidates’ Families in Spotlight


By: Diana Fay DiZoglio – November, 2011

At polling locations across the Commonwealth this past Tuesday, families of candidates came face to face with their challenger’s family. Many were forced to hold signs alongside their challenger’s kin for hours at the polls. As anyone who has ever volunteered in a campaign can attest, come Election Day you are tired, stressed out and emotions are running high.

In Methuen, it was a long and debate-filled trail for the mayoral candidates and their families. Their children have, of course, had a front row seat to watching both the public praise and ridicule. Still, there they all were on Tuesday, smiling and ready for action at the polls. While the mayoral race had many issues surrounding it this election season, both candidates deserve praise for their children who were all class acts across the board.

The DiNuccio Home: Regarding some of the negativity expressed toward Al DiNuccio during the campaign about the current issues facing Methuen residents, his daughter April said, “We just have to bite our tongue and let my dad prove that he is going to bring about a good change. We are very family oriented, so whatever he needs we are there with him trying to get the message out about what we are trying to change for Methuen. I can only hope for the best for him. I am proud of him, he has worked really hard and I give him tons of credit. He was out there every single day trying to show what he is going to do for this city.”

DiNuccio’s son, AJ, said, “We are looking for new and better things and to get the career politicians out.” When asked about how the family’s role along the campaign trail is concerned, he said that the family is very supportive. “My mother and father do everything for us. We are keeping in good spirits for my father and I hope that everything works out for him. We made calls, held signs, did handouts and anything else we could to get him in there. We didn’t really take in the negative stuff. We just stayed positive and went along with what we had to do.” In conclusion, AJ commented, as he looked across the street at his father, “I am proud of him. That’s my father right there and I will always be proud of him no matter what.”

The Zanni Home: Steve Zanni’s son Jeff called the campaign “energetic and exciting.” “We really want to see Methuen move in a positive direction. It’s something that my dad has really wanted for a very long time. He put his whole heart and soul into this entire campaign. For myself, in following my dad along his campaign trail, it was unbelievably moving to see how well received he has been by the people of Methuen.”

Zanni’s daughter, Mrs. Zanni-Pesce said, “This has been a really positive experience. We have definitely tried to stay positive on our trail and reiterate all of the great things that have been happening in Methuen instead of dwelling on the things that might not be going as smoothly as they could be. If you look at the debates and at all of the articles, there has only been negativity coming towards us-not from us. If anybody knows my father, they have used the words ‘gentleman’ and ‘classy’.

My dad comes from an old school of politics where you just let the records show for themselves and spoke on your attributes. We have just stayed positive and focused on everything that’s great about the city and great about the election. It’s a shame that there has been any negativity going on.”

For this reporter, the temperature at the polls was a friendly one. I did not hear trash talking amongst family members, volunteers or candidates. What I did hear were positive comments like, “Let’s agree to disagree for the day and keep a positive attitude.” Here’s to hoping for a continued high-road approach in Methuen from our candidates, the elected, and their families.

You can email Diana at dianafaydizoglio@gmail.com