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November 4, 2012

Mayor backs Tierney, Warren in 'climate' post

Maintaining for weeks that she would not endorse candidates in either the closely-contested U.S. Senate race or the tight and contentious 6th District congressional run, Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk has now urged support for three Democrats — spurred, she said in a Facebook post, by the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, which ravaged New Jersey and New York while also downing trees and killing power to some 5,000 Gloucester customers last week. And Congressman John Tierney’s re-election campaign touted the announcement Sunday as the mayor’s firm backing of its candidate, saying that it “capped off ... a great day” in Gloucester in Saturday, when Tierney was also joined on the campaign stump by retiring Democratic congressman Barney Frank.

In her Facebook comment — posted Saturday, then wisely distributed Sunday by the Tierney campaign, which is locked in a race with Republican challenger Richard Tisei — Kirk said that, “as mayor of a coastal city, Hurricane Sandy has forced me to pause and think about the reality of climate change and the devastating impact on communities which easily could have included Gloucester ...”

“With this issue as the catalyst, today via Facebook I have come out in support of the Democratic party ticket for our district (Obama, Warren, and Tierney),” Kirk’s post concluded. While many other mayors and elected officials around the North Shore had announced their endorsement of candidates in both the Senate and congressional race, Kirk — an avowed Democat, though Gloucester’s city elections are non-partisan – had avoided making endorsements in either of this year’s top state races. In an Oct. 23 letter to the Times, she wrote: “I’m planning to stay neutral in both the congressional and U.S. Senate races this year, and won’t be endorsing candidates.”

“Endorsements have always made me uncomfortable, because the office of the mayor has to work with whoever is elected, and with whatever political party is in favor at any particular time,” she added.

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