Peabody’s Brooksby Village is welcoming the four candidates running for state representative in the 12th Essex District for a special forum. The meet-the-candidate event is being held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Brooksby Village chapel, and is open to residents only. The event will also be televised for residents that are unable to attend.
The state representative seat for the 12th Essex District, which covers most of Peabody, was left vacant after the untimely death of state Rep. Joyce Spiliotis.
Republicans Greg Bunn and Leah Cole will join Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunn and Independent Dave Gravel to introduce themselves to the 1,900 Brooksby Village residents. Each candidate will talk about their background, say something about their personal life and give a reason as to why they’d be the best candidate
Brooksby has its own precinct and polling place due to its large number of residents and safety issues that are involved with traveling to separate locations to vote.
Loretta Tenaglia has been organizing the candidate forums for the 13 years she has lived at Brooksby and determined that ultimately it was a safety issue for residents to vote at an alternate location.
“When we first came we had to go to the high school to vote and it became apparent it wasn’t a safe place to vote because when you’re older you don’t do things as fast as you used to,” Tenaglia said. “I went to our mayor and said we have a safety problem.”
There must be at least 1,400 residents living in an area in order for it to form a separate precinct. That time came for Brooksby Village in 2004 when it opened up its third neighborhood.
The retirement living community holds forums for candidates running in city and state elections. There’s an understanding, Tenaglia said, about the importance of a candidate winning over the crowd at Brooksby Village.
“There’s a perception that you can’t win Peabody without winning Brooksby because we have such a high voter turnout,” Tenaglia said. “We’re a power to be reckoned with you could say.