- Haverhill School Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti and City Councilor Andy Vargas.
In the first sign of rivalry between two of the Democratic candidates for Haverhill’s state representative seat, City Councilor Andy Vargas and School Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti sparred Wednesday over immigration issues.
Citing an interview with Magliocchetti appearing in a recent edition of the Valley Patriot newspaper, Vargas criticized Magliocchetti’s reported statement that immigrants should “register with the government.”
“Paul completely misses the point, and in fact his position will lead to exactly the action he says he is against, breaking apart hard working families,” Vargas said in a statement. “The Trump administration has in fact raided homes to break up families and deport parents of children who are citizens of this country” Vargas added, “This policy is impractical and fiscally imprudent. Haverhill residents are smart enough to know the facts and not give into shameless fear mongering.”
Magliocchetti responded last night, telling WHAV he and Vargas mostly agree on the issue, but Vargas misinterpreted his newspaper quote.
“I was talking about an amnesty program. I think Andy misunderstands my position,” Magliocchetti said. The school committeeman explained certain immigrants have petitions pending with the government, but which the feds fail to process in a timely manner and causing law-abiding people to overstay their visas. “The federal government should let you stay while you’re processing the paperwork. They should be able to stay here and work unless it is determined you’re a problem or a burden,” Magliocchetti said.
Vargas acknowledged his opponent’s position, as it was expressed at a Democratic City Committee meeting Monday.
“I was heartened to see Paul at the Haverhill Democrats Immigration meeting held this week, where he expressed a much different attitude than what was said in this article,” Vargas said. “To leave the impression that I want to assist criminals is inflammatory and has no place in this race. I am against all criminals – whether they are immigrants or citizens.” The city councilor said he does support deportation of dangerous criminals.
“I am absolutely in favor of deporting drug dealers, gang members and those who commit violent crimes.”
Magliocchetti responded he did not characterize Vargas’ position, saying “What he read is what someone else said about me. What (Vargas) wrote is what he thinks.”
Most of what Vargas said in his statement was aimed at the newspaper, calling the reporting “utterly false and disappointing.”
Magliocchetti said he wishes Vargas waited to talk with him before issuing a statement. He said Vargas sent him a text earlier in the day, but the two hadn’t yet had time to talk.
“He’s very impulsive. His youth and inexperience is showing. I think it was impulsive. I like him, but this is irresponsible,” Magliocchetti said. He added that he believes Vargas going on Facebook to warn immigrants of federal raids was also impulsive. While he said he agrees with Vargas that immigrants should know their rights, he said, “You don’t know how people will react. It’s creating a stressful environment for the very people you’re trying to protect.” Rather than social media, he said Vargas should have considered private meetings.
Both candidates said they prefer a positive campaign.
“The people of Haverhill deserve the same high-level of integrity, authenticity and pragmatism that Brian Dempsey has always brought to this seat. I hope we can get back to running a positive campaign, and I look forward to continuing to do so,” Vargas said.
Montibello Says She Will Advocate for Vulnerable Populations; Toohey Plans Kick-Off with Polito
Meanwhile, as first reported by WHAV yesterday, School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr. said he would not seek the Democratic nomination for state representative. He cited his mother’s recent surgery and expected long rehabilitation process as reasons he would not run. However, another Democrat, Eva Montibello, took out nomination papers this week.
“I’ve been an advocate for vulnerable populations, now I’m ready to be an advocate for Haverhill on Beacon Hill,” she said on her social media page Tuesday.
Republican Shaun P. Toohey said Wednesday he plans a campaign kick-off with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito next Tuesday at Maria’s Family Restaurant.
After 12:00am on Thursday August 31st, 2017 this article available to WHAV members only.
Published at Thu, 24 Aug 2017 04:05:24 +0000