State Sen. Fred Berry, breaking his usual pattern in local elections, has announced he is backing Ted Bettencourt for Mayor.
“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,” Berry said in a statement.
Berry, a lifelong Peabody resident, said in a press release from the Friends of Fred Berry Committee dated today that he traditionally abstains from endorsing any one candidate for the corner office, but this year is different. He said it's "imperative that Peabody elect the right person with the right skills to lead the city."
He calls Bettencourt a "respected leader" and "strong team-builder," who has the spirit and momentum his hometown needs.
Berry praised Bettencourt for having the experience, professional skills and temperament to succeed at a time when dwindling government resources and a flagging economy put a great deal of pressure on a city such as Peabody. He said the future belongs to cities with mayors who can build those partnerships, work with all sectors to solve community problems and all the while skillfully managing the city's resources.
Bettencourt, honored at the support, said Berry has been a great champion himself for the city.
“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,” said Bettencourt.
Bettencourt's opponent, Sean Fitzgerald, was last month.