Residents of Andover, North Andover, Boxford, and Tewksbury are excited about Democrat Barbara L’Italien’s decision to run for state rep. in those towns. L’Italien previously served in the House for eight years and developed a reputation as a tireless, full-time advocate for the communities she represented. By contrast, her opponent, Republican State rep. Jim Lyons, has been barely visible in the six communities he has represented for the past two years.
Local activists who appreciate L’Italien’s record quickly mobilized to support her decision. Within a couple weeks, some 30 volunteers collected more than 600 signatures on her nominating papers — more than four times the required number for inclusion on the ballot.
L’Italien’s record of hard work and legislative accomplishment has a strong appeal to voters in the newly-drawn district. She is especially well-known and respected in her home town of Andover as a result of years of volunteer work in the school system and community as her four children were growing up. The number of Andover voters in the new district has doubled and now represents more than half the electorate in the new district.