Tewksbury Voters Elect All-New Legislative Delegation; Turnout Huge For A Mid-Term Election
Nov 07, 2018 10:10PM
● By Bill Gilman
However, the three new legislators who will begin representing Tewksbury in January would beg to differ.
Democrats Tram Nguyen (18th Essex), Dave Robertson (19th Middlesex) and Barry Finegold (2nd Essex-Middlesex) came away with victories, bringing to an end a spirited, and often hostile, campaign season.
The biggest upset of the night was notched by Nguyen, who unseated four-term State Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, 54.8 to 45.2 percent (11,559-9,535). Nguyen, an Andover immigration attorney, was part of the so-called "Pink Wave" of female candidates, trained and backed by Emerge America/Emerge Massachusetts, and making their first run for elected office in 2018.
Tewksbury's Ward 3 handed Lyons his only victory, 2,072-1,805. Nyguyen won North Andover (2,662-2,644) and Boxford (728-652). But the race was decided in Andover, the hometown of both candidates. It was there that Nguyen dealt Lyons a stunning knockout blow, claiming 60 percent of the vote (6,364-4,167).
"Thank you so much to the thousands of voters who put their faith in me," said Nguyen, in a post on her campaign Facebook page. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve the 18th Essex District. I look forward to representing everyone in this district to address the issues that matter most to you."
Lyons began his tenure as state rep. by unseating Barbara L'Italien in 2010. His loss to Nguyen removes arguably the strongest and most relentless conservative voices from Beacon Hill and costs Republicans a House seat they thought had been rock solid.
"Thank you to the people of Andover, Boxford, North Andover and Tewksbury for the privilege and honor to serve as your State Representative for 8 years," said Lyons, in a post on his Facebook page. "Thank you to everyone who helped us on this incredible journey... God Bless you all."
Robertson edged past Republican Pina Prinzivalli and Unenrolled Patricia Meuse in a hard-fought battle for the 19th Middlesex seat held for close to four decades by the late Jim Miceli. Robertson finished with 48.2 percent of the vote to Prinzivalli's 43.5 percent and Meuse's 8.3 percent. Raw vote totals were 9,110-8,216-1,570.
Robertson, who served as Miceli's chief of staff in the final years of his tenure, won both Tewksbury (128 votes) and Wilmington (766 votes).
"The good people of the 19th Middlesex District have spoken," said Robertson, in a social media posting. "Thank you all, so much, for your kindness, enthusiasm and support. Now, let's get to work."
Prinzivalli was the first candidate to declare her candidacy in the 19th Middlesex race, well before Miceli's death in April. What started as a quixotic battle against a legislative legend morphed into an abbreviated primary battle and then an unexpected three-way race in the general election.
She took her loss philosophically.
"I feel that this is just the beginning for me. I hope my story of getting involved inspires others to take part in the election process, from voting for the first time or wanting to run for office in the future," said Prinzivalli, in a statement on her campaign Facebook page. "My message to you is get involved. It's never too late. I'm glad I finally did."
Finegold's victory was the most convincing of the local legislative races. In the race to succeed state Sen. Barbara L'Italien in the 2nd Essex-Middlesex District (Dracut, Tewksbury, Andover, Lawrence), Finegold, easily defeated Republican Joe Espinola, of Dracut, 67.9 to 37.2 percent. The raw totals were 35,408 to 20,992.
Finegold had previously held the 2nd Essex-Middlesex seat from 2010-2014, before an unsuccessful run for State Treasurer.
"I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to once again serve Andover, Dracut, Lawrence & Tewksbury in the State Senate," said Finegold, in a post on his Facebook page. "Thank you to my wonderful family, team and incredible volunteers for making this win possible. I promise to be a relentless advocate for our district and work tirelessly for its residents. Excited to get to work for you!"
Espinola won his home town of Dracut by more than 1,000 votes. But Finegold carried Tewksbury and Andover and won the city of Lawrence by a decisive 4-1 margin.
"On Tuesday I had 20,000 more votes than I had on Monday and that is something to be said about our campaign message that we got out to the voters," said Espinola, in a message on his campaign Facebook page. "We are not going away we are just sharpening our skills for our next journey. Thank you all again, and congratulations and best of luck to Barry Finegold."
On the three statewide ballot questions, Tewksbury voters matched the state results. Local voters resoundingly opposed Question 1 (Nurse staffing requirements), supported Question 2 (establishment of a commission on campaign spending) and supported Question 3 (equal access for transgender citizens).
The complete Tewksbury Election results can be found in the PDF file attached above.