With the election days away, Barbara L'Italien, challenger for the 18th Essex state rep. seat, sent out some mailers recently that claim that State Rep. Jim Lyons is backed by groups that are anti-equal marriage and anti-choice.
The mailer contains several bullet points explaining the different efforts he had made while a state rep. that do not represent the will of the district.
L'Italien claims Lyons wrote a bill would restrict health insurance coverage to cover counseling for rape victims, supported the restriction of counseling for gay students, supported the elimination of funding for teen pregnancy prevention and supported the elimination of student health services.
The mailer reads:
"When Jim Lyons ran for office two years ago, he claimed he was running to bring balance to Beacon Hill. What he didn't say was that he was motivated and funded by special interest groups dedicated to ending a woman's right to choose, limiting access to contraception, and eliminating laws and programs that keep our families safe."
Lyons did not return a request for comment on the mailer as of deadline.
The 18th Essex District consists of sections of Andover, North Andover, Georgetown, Boxford, Methuen and Haverhill.
Specifically, the 18th Essex includes precincts 1, 7 and 8, of the town of Andover, precinct 2, of the town of Boxford, precinct 2, of the town of Georgetown, precincts 1 and 2 of ward 2, precinct 2 of ward 5, and precinct 2 of ward 7, of the city of Haverhill, precinct 7, of the town of Methuen, and precincts 7 and 8, of the town of North Andover, all in the county of Essex.
UPDATE: Lyons responded about the mailer, calling it a distraction.
"As you may know, I have been campaigning on the economic and fiscal issues," Lyons said. "That is what I have been focusing on and working hard at for the voters, since first being elected two years ago. In my door-to-door campaign, I have the opportunity to listen to what the voters have to say. We talk about increasing Local Aid, rolling back the 25% Sales Tax hike that hurts the Merrimack Valley, and reforming state government so it becomes truly responsive, open, and transparent."
"If my opponent is basing her campaign on an entirely different set of issues, that's her responsibility," Lyons continued. "My opponent can speak for herself."