DEBATE HIGHLIGHT: All 5 Candidates Pledge To Carry On Miceli’s Legacy Of Extraordinary Constituent Services

WILMINGTON, MA — All five Democratic candidates in the 19th Middlesex State Rep race pledged to continue Jim Miceli’s legacy of superior constituent services, during last week’s debate hosted by Wilmington Community Television and moderated by Katie Lannan of State House News.

“The biggest part of Representative James Miceli’s legacy is his level of constituent services,” said former Wilmington Selectman & School Committee member Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington). “I will be a leader that listens and a voice for the people. I believe that I have the human qualities and the core qualities and attriubutes of an ideal state representative. I have the intellectual ability, the biggest heart, and invested myself for decades into this community through a myriad of philanthropic endeavors. I believe I have the ability to build consensus. I have a past demonstrated track record of helping people. I will be accessible, transparent, and actively engaged on behalf of all residents regardless of their issue or concern.”

“When I think of James Miceli, I think of what he has done for so many people of so many ages for so many reasons,” continued O’Connell. “It would be my honor to follow in his footsteps, most specifically, in that regard, to take care of all people in the 19thMiddlesex district.”

“I don’t think anyone sitting here will fill the shoes of my uncle, Jim Miceli. He’s going to go down as perhaps the best representative Wilmington and Tewksbury has ever seen,” said 28-year Wilmington Selectman Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington.) “That being said, I do bring something to the table. I’ve served my government for 31 solid years – 28 years as a member of the Board of Selectmen and 3 years on the Planning Board. I’ve demonstrated constituent services and accessibility. People know how to get in touch with me.

“I really truly believe public service is in my DNA,” added McCoy. “I love helping people through the maze of local government. I believe I can take what I’ve done and learned at a local level and bring it and excel at the state level. I care about people. I’ve been in the people business all my life. I really enjoy helping folks. If I can help someone make a better life for themselves, I’m going to do that. There will be a learning curve, I will learn from my mistakes, and I will move forward. I know I can do this.”

“Jim was a good friend. I would talk to him 3-4 times a week. He’d always have me on the phone about something going on in Tewksbury or Wilmington. The two of us shared the same thoughts,” said Tewksbury Selectman Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury). “I’m out every single night at some event – doing everything I can for the community. Everytime I was there, Jim was there. The two of us would be going around, talking with people.”

“Since his passing, I’ve received over a hundred phone calls from folks who said they’d usually call Jim, but they’re calling me because they need help,” continued Kratman. “When people call and they’re at their worst, and need you the most, you’re supposed to be there to help them. That was the best thing Jim Miceli would always do. He took care of everybody. Everyone at this table has at least 100 stories of how Jim helped everybody. I want to be the same type of person that he was.”

“I echo everyone else’s comments about constituent services,” agreed Wilmington Democratic Town Committee Chair Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington). “When I interned from Rep. Miceli, I was at the beginning of my political science career in college. I was really unsure of what path I wanted to take. Interning for him, he had me working on everything, from summarizing bills to going to committee meetings with him. The consistuent services aspect was the one that stuck with me. The power of that office and what you can do to make an impact in people’s lives really stuck with me.”

“I’m the type of person that’s motivated by making a difference in someone else’s life and contributing to the greater good,” added Johnson. “Every single person I talked to on the campaign trail has had a story about how Representative Miceli helped themselves, a family member, a friend or a neighbor. That’s something that absolutely needs to be continued. I will be accessible, transparent, and there for anyone who needs my ear.”

“It’s nice to hear all [these responses] because, in a sense, for four to five years, I was the man behind the man as my title was ‘Officer of Constituent Affairs’ for Representative Miceli,” said former Miceli Chief of Staff Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury). “Jim was accessible at all hours. I kid you not. If I could have charged him double for picking him up at 2am, I would have, but out of love and dedication, I didn’t.”

“Because he had so many people looking to him for help, he had to split the load between my good co-worker and I. Over that time, I – personally – was able to assist the representative and quite often took the lead on issues… I found hundreds, if not thousands, of different solutions to people’s cases over the years,” continued Robertson. “I have worked with local, state and federal agencies to the point where I can pull out my cell phone, turn it on, call these people, and have a first-name conversation. That’s how well I know these constituent affairs folks. I am the most knowledgeable when it comes to helping [a constituent] one-on-one.”

Watch the debate, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below. Jump to the 1:06:30 mark to watch much of what was written above.

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