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April 24, 2014

Port resident eyes state rep seat

NEWBURYPORT — With signatures due in less than a week, another candidate has declared that he is running for the state representative seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport.

The prospective candidate is Joseph L. “Rama” Valianti, 55, of Newburyport.

Valianti said that he is working steadily to acquire the 150 signatures he needs to file with state officials by the end of day Tuesday. He will be running as an independent, he said.

“I plan to gather more than the minimum number of signatures,” said Valianti, a native of Marlborough who has lived in this community for about six years. “I am going to meet and talk with as many people as I can.”

Valianti would be running in the First Essex District, which is composed of Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury.

He is a sales representative for Roof Diagnostics Solar, a company that markets solar solutions.

The candidate, who is single, comes from a family of 10 siblings. He went to Marlborough schools and the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. Valianti said the early part of his career was spent as a mortgage banker in the western suburbs.

In recent years, he has been involved in physical fitness, and has been a yoga instructor and a physical fitness coach. He said that Rama is a Hindu term meaning love and joy.

The candidate, who was defeated for state representative in Marlborough in 2008, has not served in public office.

He said he moved to Newburyport in part because many of his family members had migrated to the North Shore, and he wanted to be closer to his siblings and 13 nephews and nieces.

Valianti said that issues that he will advocate during the campaign include gun control and improved educational opportunities.

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