Anthony Caggiano was elected as Revere’s representative on the Northeast Regional Vocational School Committee in the school’s district-wide election on Nov. 3.
Caggiano defeated interim School Committeewoman Melissa Jannino Elam, who had been appointed to the position following the death of her father, Ronald Jannino, who represented Revere for 35 years.
Voters from all 12 communities in the Northeast district, including Revere and its neighbors Winthrop, Revere, and Saugus, participated in the election.
Caggiano received 7,267 votes in Revere while Elam received 6,858. Caggiano expanded his margin of victory with impressive vote totals in the other areas of the district.
“It was a hard-fought race and Melissa and I were out campaigning constantly,” said Caggiano, a 1976 graduate of Revere High School. “I was out there in every city. I met a lot of nice people. The campaign was much more than what I thought it would be. Covering 12 cities and towns – there was a lot of hard work involved.”
He praised Elam for her sportsmanship and cordiality in the course of the campaign.
“She worked very hard and it was a nice election,” said Caggiano. “We were both very cordial to each other.”
Caggiano credited Chris Keohan, principal and founder of CK Strategies for being instrumental in the coordination of his successful campaign. Keohan has proven to be an excellent and innovative consultant in various campaigns in Revere.
“I also want to thank [Attorney] Gerry D’Ambrosio for helping me put this whole thing together,” said Caggiano. “Gerry asked me if I really wanted to run and I said, ‘yes.’ I received key backing from [former mayor and city councillor] Dan Rizzo and [Revere School Committee] member] Anthony D’Ambrosio.”
Rizzo, always a potent vote-getter in citywide elections, stood at the polls on Election Day with Caggiano. Anthony D’Ambrosio topped the ticket in the last School Committee election.
“I also thank Teamsters President Sean O’Brien for that key endorsement of my candidacy,” said Caggiano.
Caggiano said he was humbled by the support his campaign received in Revere and across the district during sign-holding events.
“That was probably the most humbling thing about the whole election – the people coming up to me and talking to me during the campaign,” said Caggiano. “I was just humbled by the whole experience and all the people that I met.”
This was Caggiano’s first run for office. Asked after his tremendous showing in Revere and in other cities whether he was considering another campaign in 2021 or beyond, he replied, ‘No.’ This [the Regional School Committee] was the only position I was ever looking to seek. My stepfather was special needs director at Northeast. My mother worked there. I used to go to meetings at a very young age and sit there and watch my stepfather try to get appropriations for special needs. Sometimes after school I would do my homework there while my mother was working. This campaign was very personal. I think the voters could tell how passionate I was about the school and how important it is to me. My three kids went to Northeast and they’re doing very well. I think my sons got more excited about the campaign as it went on. Some of my family came up from the South Shore to support me so it was a family thing.”
Caggiano will be inaugurated to a four-year term in January. He is looking forward to working with Supt. David DiBarri and participating in the planning process for the new high school that is being proposed for the campus in Wakefield. He has already begun his transition to office by looking at existing programs and projects at Northeast. “When January comes, I want to be updated,” said Caggiano. “I don’t want to go in cold. I want to know what the agenda is.”