WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Selectman Greg Bendel, running for re-election in Saturday’s Town Election, held a successful campaign rally on Wednesday, April 17 at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall. More than 100 supporters were in attendance.
Bendel was introduced by former Wilmington School Committee member and longtime Shawsheen Tech School Committee member Robert Peterson Sr.
“Over the past three years, I’ve watched Greg mature into a wonderful politician and a wonderful young man,” Peterson told the crowd. “I knew from my experiences with Greg at Shawsheen Tech that he was a great kid and a kid of great character. Greg’s character — along with his patience, compassion, and kindness — have been on exhibit for everyone in the town to see.”
“Greg told me he’s committed to following the process. He told me that if you follow the process, things will turn out exactly the way they’re supposed to,” added Peterson.
After surprising Robert Peterson with a birthday gift, candidate Greg Bendel addressed his crowd of supporters.
“I just can’t tell you how appreciative I am to have you all here to support me and my family for re-election to the Board of Selectmen…. It motivates me to finish the last 10 days strong,” said Bendel.
Bendel recognized his family and several current and former elected officials, including Shawsheen Tech School Committee member Jim Gillis; Wilmington School Committee members Jo Newhouse and Jennifer Bryson; Wilmington Housing Authority member Bob DiPasquale; Wilmington Town Moderator Rob Peterson; former Selectmen Lou Cimaglia, Mike Champoux, Mike Newhouse, and Judy O’Connell; the family of former Selectman Ed Loud; Selectman Jonathan Eaton; Selectman Kevin Caira; State Representative Sean Garballey, and Woburn City Councilor Eddie Tedesco.
“Selectman Kevin Caira has been a great colleague of mine,” noted Bendel. “I look forward to supporting him on April 27. I hope you all join me in supporting Kevin Caira.”
“I’m standing on the shoulders of hundreds of volunteers who have come before me and served their time. This is just my small way of giving back,” said Bendel. “We’re real fortunate to be raising our two daughters — Charlotte and Grace — here in Wilmington. I want them to have to the experience we had growing up. My parents, and my community, raised my brother and I up to be the men that we are. We will be forever grateful. As an adult, I’ve done everything I could to give back to the community that raised me. ”
“I’m really proud of all the things we’ve done on the Board of Selectmen over the past three years. I’ve learned a lot. If I’m given the opportunity for a second time around, I can be even more effective,” continued Bendel. “The thing that I’ve learned the most is nobody does anything by themselves. Anybody who tells you differently is a fool. On the Board, you have to work with others. We’re just five representatives from the community. We don’t do anything without your help, support and input. I’d like to think that I’ve listened and worked with each person in this room to try to improve our town.”
Bendel discussed some of his priorities, including budgeting conservatively; adequately funding public education and public safety; making infrastructure improvements; economic development; and supporting veterans and seniors.
“I recognize I represent a younger generation of public officials. I feel obligated from my age group to give back. And I hope to influence a younger person to get involved,” added Bendel. “We need volunteerism in this town. It’s one of the hallmarks of our community. It’s what makes Wiilmington so wonderful.”
“Not only do we have an opportunity to win this election, I think we have a great opportunity to send a clear message about how we want this town to move forward in a positive direction,” concluded Bendel.
Former Selectman Lou Cimaglia was the evening’s final speaker.
“Greg doesn’t say a lot of ‘I and me.’ It’s usually ‘us and we. And he’s always talking positively” observed Cimaglia. “That’s Greg. I’ve known Greg for a long time now. He’s always been interested in helping and volunteering… This town is a positive town. And Greg’s a positive kid.”
“Greg and Kevin have done yeoman’s work on this board over the past 3 years,” continued Cimaglia. “It ain’t easy with social media now and the negative ridiculousness, but they do their job and get their work done. Beyond that, they are at everything. I’ve seen Greg flipping eggs for a breakfast at Local Heroes as Kevin was coming in next for the Sons of Italy dinner.”
“Greg and Kevin are doing this for the right reasons,” concluded Cimaglia. “I think we, as a town, need to send a positive message that the negative nonsense doesn’t work. Vote for Greg. Vote for Kevin. The stuff you’re seeing on Facebook isn’t true. It’s terrible to slander these two men’s names over a certain project, a project they didn’t even vote on. These are the two men that should be in those two seats. We have to do what’s best for the town.”
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