School Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti. (Courtesy photograph.)
For the second time during the battle to win the Democratic nomination for state representative, comments in an out-of-town newspaper are adding to tensions. This time, a day before the primary election.
The anonymous comments purportedly from a supporter of City Councilor Andy Vargas brought a rebuke from School Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti. While Vargas said neither he nor his campaign are behind the comment, Magliocchetti took issue with the words, “we need to fight against Haverhill nativists.”
“The use of divisive rhetoric has been a cornerstone of Andy Vargas’ campaign,” Magliocchetti said in a statement. “This clearly states where Andy’s priorities lie, and that is not with our city. This is not the kind of representation Haverhill needs or deserves.”
Vargas responded, “No I did not write that anonymous sound off, nor would anyone from my team.”
Both candidates said they are proud to be Haverhill natives. Vargas told WHAV, “I am and always have been a proud Haverhill native. I look forward to representing the people of Haverhill as a full-time state representative.” Similarly, Magliocchetti wrote, “I am proud to be a Haverhill native and, frankly, I thought Andy was proud to be a Haverhill native too.”
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nativist as “a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants.”
Back in August, Vargas criticized Magliocchetti’s reported statements in another out-of-town newspaper.