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Finegold Reclaims State Senate Seat

November 7, 2018 GMT

DRACUT -- Former state Sen. Barry Finegold declared victory over Republican challenger Joe Espinola Tuesday in the race for the open 2nd Essex and Middlesex state Senate seat.

According to unofficial results from Finegold’s campaign manager MaryRose Mazzola, the Andover attorney received 29,587 votes and Espinola received 15,362. Mazzola said these totals did not include votes from Andover precinct 9 (early votes), Dracut’s precincts 1, 4, 5, 6A, 8, and 9, and the early votes from both Lawrence and Tewksbury.

“I’m just grateful to the voters of Dracut, Tewksbury, Lawrence and Andover for giving me the opportunity to serve them again,” Finegold said shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday. “All four communities really came out for us and we’re just grateful for the support we received today.”

Espinola did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Finegold was the district’s senator for two terms prior to his unsuccessful run for state treasurer in 2014. The seat is open because Barbara L’Italien unsuccessfully ran for Congress from the 3rd Congressional District.

Finegold recently said that if elected he’d focus on making the district more competitive in helping out small businesses. He also said he wanted to focus on renewable energy, which he said is good for the environment, jobs, and for public safety in light of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions. Finegold said he’s always been a big proponent of early childhood education and expressed a desire to give more people the opportunity for early childhood education.

Espinola, a retired Lowell police officer, said his number one priority would be to make Lawrence self-sufficient and work on giving the school system back to the city. A receivership board currently runs the city’s schools for the state. Espinola suggested a three-prong approach centered on body, mind, and health as one way to help combat the opioid crisis. He also said he’d like to provide trade education to local youth who weren’t admitted into the vocational schools within the district.

On Tuesday afternoon outside the Dr. Christos Daoulas Education Complex, Dracut resident Adam Sullivan said he voted for Espinola because he thought the candidate would bring in “new blood.”

“Joe really wants that job and I feel as if Barry’s had the job but then he’s tried to move into other areas,” Sullivan said. “I think it’d be nice to have somebody new with a fresh look at the issues.”

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.