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Slattery, Lovely Join Manning in Race for Senate

The official tally now for candidates in the state Senate race to succeed Peabody's Fred Berry is up to three: Mary-Ellen Manning, John Slattery and Joan Lovely.

Faced with the prospect of taking on former state Rep. John Slattery for a shot at succeeding Fred Berry in the Mass. Senate, Peabody’s Mary-Ellen Manning says she welcomes the competition.

Manning, issued a press release Wednesday evening, in response to Slattery recently announcing he will run for the seat to represent the Second Essex District. Slattery, a Peabody attorney, told reporters he intended to do so in the weeks after Berry announced he would be retiring after 2012.

Slattery was the guest speaker at the Beverly Democratic City Committee on Tuesday and reportedly made his candidacy official.

“The more candidates the voters have to choose from, the better,” Manning said. “Competition in politics is exactly what the public needs. A competitive primary leads to better public officials and better government.”

Manning, likewise an attorney, was the first to publicly announce her candidacy, which she did at a .

Manning, 49, represents the North Shore area on the Governor’s Council, which oversees judicial appointments by Gov. Deval Patrick. She is planning to kickoff her campaign on Jan. 19 at the at 6 p.m.

Slattery, 53, a one-term Peabody city councilor who went on to represent Peabody in the state legislature from 1995-2003, has not run for office in several years after losing a bid for mayor against Michael Bonfanti in 2005. Slattery also ran for lieutenant governor in 2002.

Slattery told the Boston Globe last month that he has spoken with a number of key people he would rely on for financial and political backing, including mayors and state representatives within the Second Essex District (Peabody, Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield), and he is confident the support is there for a serious run.

He told the Globe he has the experience to “build consensus” within the legislature as well as familiarity with the budget process and getting bills passed.

In addition to Manning and Slattery, Salem city councilor Joan Lovely has confirmed she is making a bid for the Senate, according to the Salem News. All three are practicing attorneys.

State Rep. Ted Speliotis of Danvers ; Salem’s Gary Barrett, U.S. Congressman John Tierney’s former district director, may be in as well. On the Republican side, Beverly city councilor Paul Guanci is weighing a possible run along with Richard Jolitz, who handily lost to Berry in 2010.

that he would be retiring after 30 years in the senate.

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