METHUEN — Linda Dean Campbell, who has already served her country and community, wants to take that experience to the state level.
Campbell, 50, who served eight years in the Army, is the Democratic candidate for state representative in the 15th Essex District, a seat being vacated by Arthur Broadhurst, who is running for Register of Deeds.
Campbell is opposed by Republican candidate Robert Andrew and independent Kenneth Henrick. The election will take place on Nov. 7.
Campbell and her husband Donald, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, have been has been married for 23 years. The couple have two children, Marie, 15, and Zachary, 13.
Campbell served from 2000 to 2005 on Methuen City Council and wants to take that experience to the state level.
What made you decide to run for state representative?
After I had started on City Council and became more involved in the community, I found that I really loved the work, and I think for this type of job you really truly have to love what you do.
What is your main campaign message?
I believe what I can offer the citizens of Methuen is leadership. While I was on City Council I didn’t just take what came before me and vote on it. I met with people in the community and they brought issues and concerns to me. Leadership is not waiting for things to come to you, but bringing people together to get the processes started. I think that’s the strength I bring to the position over my opponents. I don’t wait for things to come to me.
Why should the Methuen residents vote for you?
Because I will take the initiative to get things done for Methuen. We need a new high school and we have many transportation issues, so I’m not going to sit back and vote on what’s brought to me in the Legislature. I’m going to take the lead to insure these projects are front and center for my constituents. The other thing I bring to the table is experience. My experience as a former teacher, city councilor, and military officer allows me to bring a different perspective to the Legislature, which consists primarily of lawyers. I think I will bring the perspective of someone who is deeply involved in the community at many levels, and being a parent of children in this community I think allows me to bring a wide variety of experience to represent many aspects of our community in the state Legislature.
Who are you backing for governor and why?
I’m backing Deval Patrick because the Republicans have not demonstrated the capability to turn the situation around in Massachusetts, and they have had more than enough of an opportunity to do so. I’m not obviously going to agree with his entire stance on issues regardless of which party I would support. What I do agree with is that we need change and we need it immediately.
What do you say to those who complain about government but don’t vote?
It’s a responsibility. It’s a very, very, very important responsibility at this time where the state is right now and the future of our state. I think this is one of the more important elections we have had in a long time. I think it’s the responsibility of every one to vote.
Why does your military background give you an edge?
I’m not so sure it gives me an edge, but what it does allow me is to bring a perspective to this position that is very rare in the state Legislature. What that did was allow me to work with people — not only all over the United States, but all over the world as well. It really allowed me to gain experience working with very diverse groups of people and diverse groups of opinions. So I would say that has been an asset that I can bring to this job.
What would you change about the Legislature?
I wish we had more teachers in the Legislature, to be honest with you. I have a great deal of respect for anyone who teaches. In terms of influence on the community when you think about it, teachers have an enormous impact on our community every day.
What should Methuen residents know about you?
I would like to offer to the citizens of Methuen the leadership experience I have and to offer them a representative that will be everywhere in this community listening to their concerns. I offer to the citizens of Methuen someone that is not going to wait for problems to come to our community, but to take the leadership to move not only our community but the Commonwealth forward. I think what the individuals in Methuen are going to get from my representation is very competent leadership, very competent management experience and they also going to get someone who absolutely has a passion for this job. I have some ideas for the future, and I’m in a position to dedicate myself to this position. I think that’s absolutely important right now.