The 8th Essex District is where I’ve called home my entire life. My sister Chloe and I are born and raised in Swampscott. My father’s side of the family hails from Lynn – specifically, West Lynn, as they’d expect me to specify. My older brother, Andrew, and my older sister, Hayley, grew up in Marblehead. I’ve never thought of these places as “the 8th Essex District” (and I don’t think anyone thinks of them like that outside of election season). To me, they’re home. The opportunity to run for office to represent these communities was an absolutely life-changing experience that I will never forget.
Although I did not win the seat, I feel like a winner. As I said during my concession speech on Election Night, if I could have looked into a crystal ball and seen the ultimate result – coming up a little bit short – I still would have made the decision to run. It’s because of the people I met and the stories I heard. It’s because of the small businesses I went to for various coffee, lunch, or dinner meetings. It’s because having walked on every street that encompasses this strange, varied district, I’ve become a better person for this community and for myself.
There are so many to thank across Marblehead, Swampscott, and Lynn. I cannot fit them into one letter. Right now, I want to thank my campaign manager, Sophie Hauck, for her incredible work, alongside our assistant campaign manager Brian Strothman. Sophie, a 20-year-old sophomore at Umass Amherst, and Brian, a 22-year old recent grad of Tufts University who I met when I was his teacher, demonstrate what this campaign was about. It was about bringing people to the table – not just people who had been there before, but new folks with new perspectives. Our campaign did exactly that. I often said in jest that this campaign was a collection of the most random people I could think of, but that’s really what made it beautiful and made us different.
I want to thank my entire family and friend group, but particularly, my mother Abbe Smith and my father Jimmy Smith. They introduced me to politics. I would not be where I am without my parents teaching me the importance of civic engagement and activism in Democratic politics. Out of all of my accomplishments, there is nothing I am prouder of than being the son of Jim and Abbe Smith.
There is no one more excited for Jenny Armini than I am and I cannot wait to see how high she flies. I am further thankful to my fellow candidates and optimistic for their continued devotion to public service. I am optimistic that Terri Tauro will continue to be an effective labor advocate. I am optimistic that Polly Titcomb will continue to be a champion for her clients in children and family law and for all of us in Swampscott, as she has been for years. I am optimistic that Diann Slavit Baylis will continue to be an activist for much-needed change at the local, state, and national level. I am optimistic that Doug Thompson will continue to do good work in healthcare.
As for me, I hope to maintain the many relationships created and strengthened from this campaign. For now, you can find me coaching my cross country and track team at St. Mary’s. Please feel free to reach out to me at TheTristanSmith@gmail.com or 781-799-1218. – Thank you, Tristan Smith