by Tim McCarthy, Danvers Wicked Local July 13, 2020
Robert May, Jr. of Peabody, talks to Middleton Police Chief James DiGianvittorio, during the Rally to Support Police Friday, June 26 in Middleton in front of the Flint Library. (Wicked local Photo / Wendell Waters)
Robert May Jr. of Peabody doesn’t consider himself a politician.
If anything, the self-stylized small businessman come Republican hopeful considers that one of his greatest positives as voters gear up for the 13th Essex District election this September.
“As an entrepreneur you think about a lot of things and this was something I thought I could add value to,” May said. “I think the lack of political experience I have is more than made up for raising a family in Massachusetts, growing a business in Massachusetts, as well as my problem-solving training.”
May, 58, is running for the 13th Essex District seat as the lone Republican candidate this year. The District includes all of Danvers, Precinct 2 in Middleton, as well as Ward 5: Precinct 2 and Ward 6 in Peabody.
Incumbent state Rep. Ted Speliotis, D-13th Essex, announced in late April he is not planning to run for reelection this year.
The decision marks the end of a 23-year tenure as state representative for the 13th Essex. He also served as the state representative for the former 12th Essex District from 1979 to 1987.
Speliotis said his decision was not based upon any medical or current political considerations, noting he’d made the decision to not run several months prior.
May, however, said his decision to run came long before Speliotis announced his intentions to bow out. For him, the fact Speliotis would run unopposed once again was enough for May to throw his hat in the ring.
“That was not acceptable to me,” May said.
May added he’d pulled papers in early April to run as a Republican challenger, but Speliotis’ decision turned the field into what May called a “free for all.”
Although May will face off against a Democratic challenger as well as three Independent candidates, May sees his candidacy as an opportunity for voters, especially for conservatives, to have their voices heard in a district locked as a Democratic stronghold for more than two decades.
“I’m hoping to be a starting point of a movement to get some more conservative representation on Beacon Hill,” May said. “I just see too many hardcore liberal proposals pushing through. It’s essentially one-party rule.“
For May, his most significant concern is to focus on the fiscal issues that become dinner-table conversations and hard decisions for many voters.
“We’ve seen taxes go up consistently year after year and services decrease year after year,” he said. “I want to get up to Beacon Hill, pop the hood underneath, and see if similar cost savings and opportunities exist.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered scores of businesses across the state and put thousands of citizens out of work, has only strengthened May’s resolve in seeking to scale back on costs and put more money into the hands of voters.
“The state finances were precarious to say the least pre-COVID-19,” he said. “This just sent it off the cliff.”
Specifically, he’s taken umbrage with increased property taxes, bus fees for parents to send their children to schools, as well as the tax increase on residential oil and gas heating.
May said he’d remain primarily focused on pocketbook politics, but certain social issues he’d look to take a decidedly different tack than many Massachusetts politicians against what he sees as “left wing progressive initiatives and proposals.”
He noted his support for law enforcement and resistance to calls for defunding police departments, resistance to expanding abortion access, and supporting the policies of President Donald Trump.
“I support President Trump, I support his ‘America First’ agenda,” he said. “I am the only candidate that will say that. I’m going to be true to myself, win, lose, or draw.”
May is the owner and CEO of Techsource Thermal Solutions, located in Newburyport. May currently lives in Peabody with his wife, Tricia, and the two have four adult children.
“I registered as a Republican when I was 18 years old,” he said. “The older I got and the more education and life experience I received, coupled with common-sense application, has never made me go back on that decision... I consider myself a true conservative Republican. My behavior will reflect that if I am honored to serve the voters of the 13th Essex District.”
For more information about May’s candidacy and upcoming campaign events, visit may4rep.com.