WILMINGTON, MA — State Representative candidate Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington) held her Campaign Kick-Off on Thursday night at the Tewksbury/Wilmington Elks.
More than 125 supporters attended the campaign rally, including a who’s who of Wilmington politics — Selectman Kevin Caira, Selectman Greg Bendel, Selectman Ed Loud, Selectman Jonathan Eaton, former Selectman Mike Newhouse, former Selectman Lou Cimaglia, former Selectman Mike Champoux, School Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Bryson, School Committee member Steve Bjork, Finance Committee member Marianne Gallezzo, and others.
“They say all politics is local, and I couldn’t agree more,” O’Connell told the crowd. “Local issues will be my priority.”
O’Connell detailed several of her priorities if elected: increase in education funding, particularly in the area of special education; smart economic development; diversified housing stock; infrastructure funding; substance abuse education, prevention and treatment; assistance for seniors and veterans; and “the overall quality of life for all of the district’s residents.”
“I pledge to be accessible, available and approachable, while providing the highest quality of constituent services,” said O’Connell. “I’ll be a voice for the people and a supporter of commonsense government, regardless of political affiliations.”
“Judy has a unique mixture of public and private sector experience needed up on Beacon Hill. We need a person like Judy in the State House,” Selectmen Chair Kevin Caira told the audience. “She has a great understanding of how government works and was outstanding as Chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen and Chair of the Yentile Farm Development Committee, for which the project came in $400,000 under budget… She’ll fight for Wilmington and Tewksbury in the areas of education, public safety, environment, veterans, opioid crisis, infrastructure, and the funding of Tewksbury Hospital.”
“Judy’s sense of commitment, responsibility and work ethic will not be matched in this race. She won’t get outworked or outclassed,” former Selectman Mike Newhouse promised supporters. “I can’t think of a better qualified person to run for this seat.”
“Pay attention and learn about the candidates over the next 2 months. If you do, I guarantee you’ll vote for Judy,” former Selectman Lou Cimaglia told the crowd. “When I think of Judy, I think of compassion, caring, and honesty. She’s such a good woman. Anytime I call Judy, she wants to help. You can always talk to her about any issue. She will always hear you out.”
“Wilmington and Tewksbury, it’s time to get on the bus!,” Shawsheen Tech Assistant Dean and Hall-of-Fame Wrestling Coach Mark Donovan, of Tewksbury, told supporters. “Judy listens. She has heart, passion, and an earned trust with people. She wants to genuinely help others. And she knows how to compete.”
Throughout the evening, O’Connell’s government experience, community involvement, professional experience, and athletic background were brought up by speakers.
O’Connell has a decade of public service to Wilmington. She served two terms on the Board of Selectmen (2011-2017), including two years as Chairwoman. During her time on the board, she oversaw the creation of the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility as the Yentile Farm Development Committee Chair. She previously served on the Wilmington School Committee (2007-2010).
O’Connell is an active volunteer within the Wilmington community. She is a charter member of the Wilmington Athletic Alumni and Friends Organization, Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce, and Wilmington Hall of Fame Committee. She previously served on the Town’s Scholarship Committee, the Library’s Strategic Planning Committee, and Wilmington Relay For Life Committee. She played a key role on the Wilmington High School 4.0 Committee, the campaign committee for the high school building project. She has coached baseball for Wilmington Little League and softball for the Massachusetts Bay State Games. She’s volunteered with the Massachusetts Special Olympics and served as a mentor for Lahey Clinic’s At-Risk Children Mentor program.
O’Connell, a licensed realtor, is the co-owner of EXIT Family First Realty of Wilmington. O’Connell is also a math teacher, recently completing a long-term substitute teaching assignment at Wilmington High School, of which she is an alumnus. She previously taught mathematics for Methuen Public Schools.
O’Connell was an exceptional high school and collegiate athlete. She served as the captain of Merrimack College’s 1994 NCCA National Champion Division II Softball Team. She was named an NCAA Athletic and Academic All-American. O’Connell was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fames for both Northeast 10 Conference and for Wilmington High School. The Wilmington Town Crier named her the Female Athlete of the Decade (1990-2000).
Selectman Greg Bendel emceed the event. He asked supporters to spread the word that the last day to register to vote or change party enrollment for the State Primary is Wednesday, August 15.
Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.