Posted by Justin Rice October 19, 2011 07:23 AM
“Ted Bettencourt combines the experience, professional skills and temperament required to be a successful mayor in these challenging times,” Berry said in a statement released early this morning. “Ted is intelligent, hard working and, most importantly, he has the ability to bring people together to solve problems and to work with people at all levels of government and the private sector.
“That’s the kind of mayor Peabody will need to drive its future.”
Last month, Bettencourt’s opponent, Sean Fitzgerald, was endorsed by Peabody Mayor Michael J. Bonfanti. Fitzgerald was Bonfanti's chief of staff from 2001 to 2008.
What began as a cordial race, quickly became chippy over the last month. A few weeks after Bettencourt charged Fitzgerald with plagiarism on his website, Bettencourt said Fitzgerald distributed “misinformation” about him.
The candidates will debate for the final time at 7 p.m. tomorrow night at City Hall.
A lifelong Peabody resident, Berry noted that he has not traditionally made endorsements in Peabody’s mayoral elections.
“Government resources are shrinking and the economy continues to lag putting more pressure on cities like Peabody,” he said. “The future belongs to cities with mayors who can build public -private partnerships with business, who can work with every sector of the city to solve problems and who can skillfully manage and expand resources available to the community. Ted Bettencourt is that kind of respected leader and strong team builder.
“I am confident that Ted has what it takes to renew a can-do spirit and momentum in Peabody and is clearly best choice for Mayor.”
Bettencourt, who is currently serving his fourth term as a councilor-at-large on the Peabody City Council, said he was honored by Berry’s endorsement.
"Surely, Sen. Berry has been an extraordinary champion for Peabody and has done more for our city than people will ever know,” Bettencourt said. “I think we share a concern for our city’s future and a determination to rekindle a cooperative effort and community spirit that defines what Peabody pride truly means. I am grateful for his support and look forward to working with him to achieve Peabody’s goals.”
Justin A. Rice can be reached at email@example.com.