WHAV's Tim Coco to Run for State Senate
says small businesses, consumers need boosts

Haverhill business owner Tim Coco, 50, took out papers Thursday for the Democratic nomination for the vacant First Essex District senate seat. He said his region wide focus will be on bolstering the state’s small business climate—especially for small “mom and pop” businesses—and improving consumer protections.

Coco took out nomination papers around noon at Methuen City Hall. He said his quick decision was necessitated by the short window of time available to gather the required signatures. The Methuen setting was appropriate, Coco said, since his grandfather settled in Methuen’s Pleasant Valley after emigrating from Italy during the 1920s.

“There’s no disputing small businesses create the most new jobs. Yet the state’s focus has been on giving tax breaks to conglomerates that then ship jobs out of state. Fidelity Investments, for example, received millions of dollars in tax breaks, while job creators that need the most relief have been tossed to the curb. The U.S. Department of Commerce says businesses with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms,” Coco said.

Coco also said consumer protection is a top priority. “The rush to deregulate utilities and push through mega-mergers has harmed natural gas and electric ratepayers. There has been virtually no savings passed along to residents, increased delays in addressing outages after inclement weather and unacceptably few limits on career politicians and state workers taking lucrative positions in firms they formerly regulated. Utilities are a special form of private/public partnerships and the corporate side isn’t holding up its end of the arrangement.”

In a message to friends Wednesday night, Coco said his work in Haverhill and Newburyport and deep family history in Methuen give him a better understanding of vital needs throughout the region. “Unfortunately, the senate candidates being mentioned seem to be looking out only for the interests of their own hometowns. This is laudable in many respects, but the district, frankly, needs someone who will represent every part of it equally and fairly,” he wrote.

Coco began his communications career 34 years ago as a news reporter—first for WHAV and then for the daily Haverhill Gazette. In 1984, he became a regional staff writer for the Daily News of Newburyport and then founded COCO+CO. in 1991. At the beginning of 2004, Coco returned to his roots by resurrecting WHAV as an Internet, cable television and low power radio station.

He holds an associate’s degree from Northern Essex Community College and a bachelor’s in Management from Lesley University School of Management. Coco is a founding director of the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, a member of the Occupational Advisory Board at Northern Essex Community College, president of the Trustees of the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead, member of the Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame and involved with a variety of other business and charitable organizations.

The First Essex district serves Amesbury, Haverhill, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport, parts of North Andover and Salisbury.

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(C) Copyright, Tom Duggan& Valley Patriot, Inc., 2012, All rights reserved

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