DeLeo Visits Lowell to Stump for Mom
LOWELL -- It was during a previous visit to Lowell that House Speaker Robert DeLeo -- one of the “Big 3” leaders at the Statehouse -- was asked by Rep. Rady Mom if he would take a ride with him.
″‘Where are we going,’” DeLeo recalls asking.
″‘We’re going to see a bridge,’” Mom responded.
That bridge was the Rourke Bridge. They walked across the “temporary” bridge, which has been in place since the 1980s.
Mom showed DeLeo the desperate need for a new bridge.
That visit, DeLeo says, resulted in funding for a feasibility study for a new Rourke Bridge, which is “so important to Lowell,” the speaker said during a stop in Lowell on Tuesday.
“So I ask you, why would you make a change now from the guy who brought you more money than ever in local aid and education, and from the guy who put on our radar screen the Rourke Bridge?” DeLeo said to supporters, family and local business owners in Cupples Square, as sweat dripped down the backs of attendees.
DeLeo formally endorsed Mom as the two-term state representative faces a crowded Democratic primary field next week.
Four candidates are running to represent the 18th Middlesex House District: Mom, former City Councilor Jim Leary, former City Councilor Rithy Uong and Mom’s former campaign manager Sam Meas.
“Why would anyone make a change now when he’s got work to complete?” DeLeo added, urging residents to send Mom back to the Statehouse.
Mom thanked DeLeo for the endorsement and visit, adding that the speaker has shown him what it means to be a leader.
The first day Mom walked in to see DeLeo, the speaker asked him what he can do to help, Mom recalled.
“That’s the speaker I want to work with,” Mom said.
Mom pointed to the small businesses in the neighborhood, telling DeLeo that they’re the backbone of the community.
“These are immigrant families that put their money right here,” Mom said. “They are making this city the way it is.
“I’m so proud and honored to represent all of you,” he added. “I ask for your support so I can continue to fight on behalf of all you.”
The speaker said he respects Lowell, calling it a growing city on the move.
He touched on the history of Mill City state representatives, including John Cox and Edward LeLacheur. He then praised Rep. Dave Nangle and Rep. Tom Golden, calling them leaders at the Statehouse.
“Lowell state representatives really work as a team,” DeLeo said. “I see it more in Lowell than many other places throughout the commonwealth.
“The gentleman I’m here to support today is another excellent addition to that team,” the speaker added.
DeLeo said he’s proud of Mom being the first Cambodian-American legislator in the country.
In addition, the speaker said Mom is well-respected by every member of the Legislature because of “his hard work, his dedication and his commitment.”
Changing the education foundation budget has been a hot topic that would have great ramifications for places like Lowell, DeLeo said.
“You have a gentleman (Mom) who’s been fighting for your city every step of the way. Who better to have on the education committee to talk about Lowell getting more money relative to education funding than this man?” DeLeo said.
Golden thanked DeLeo for the visit on Tuesday, saying he’s “pulled in 351 different directions” for the 351 cities and towns across the state.
“He’s somebody who has really shown true leadership throughout the commonwealth, and is always looking to ensure all voices are heard, always willing to listen and take all of our thoughts into consideration,” Golden said of the speaker.
DeLeo wants to make sure his members return,” Golden added.
“He wants his members that are thoughtful and caring, and that’s why he’s here for our good friend Rady Mom,” Golden said.
Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.