Stark contrasts on Nov. 8

With barely a minute to pause and take a breath, candidates for Essex County sheriff and the 9th Essex District state representative seat are leaving last Thursday’s primary election in the rear view mirror and barreling toward the Nov. 8 final election.

Fortunately for voters in Lynn and surrounding communities, final election candidate choices offer stark and varied contrasts in experience and policy position outlooks. Saugus voters get a real choice for state representative with veteran legislator Donald Wong facing off against political newcomer Jennifer Migliore.

Wong’s a familiar name in many town circles, including the business community, town government and local charitable work. The Republican is sure to campaign on a record of delivering state assistance to the town and working hard for Saugus on Beacon Hill.

During her primary election campaign, Migliore cited her constituent work on behalf of former boss, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, in explaining how she can hit the ground running as a responsive legislator. A Democrat, Migliore brings a youthful perspective to the legislative race to counterbalance Wong’s track record and experience serving local constituents.

The 9th Essex race encompassing precincts in Wakefield and Lynn’s Ward 1, will be an opportunity for local Republicans to keep one of their own in office and for Democrats to create an all-Democrat Lynn legislative delegation.

The race for sheriff offers similar contrasts. Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger, a Democrat, is making his first run for office while Republican nominee for sheriff Anne Manning-Martin is a political veteran steeped in the rough-and-tumble world of Peabody politics. Her career record as a state corrections administrator stacks up against Coppinger’s experience as a law enforcement professional managing a city police department.

The sheriff’s race will also be a partisan politics battleground with Democrats fighting to put one of their own in charge of the Middleton jail. Moderate Republican Frank Cousins has served as sheriff for 20 years and it remains to be scene to what extent Republicans, including Gov. Baker, will wade into the sheriff’s race and back Manning-Martin.

Looming over the Nov. 8 election is the presidential contest with its sharp contrasts and war of words. One in 10 voters came out to vote in last Thursday’s primary. Voter turnout will be much higher in the final election with the electorate weighing in on the Clinton-Trump contest and deciding regional elections.

Unenrolled voters will play a significant role in deciding Nov. 8 outcomes and they will have additional candidate choices in the sheriff’s race with Mark Archer, a candidate with strong ties to Lynn, running along with perennial sheriff’s candidate Kevin Leach.

Given the presidential campaign’s tenor, voters are likely to step into the ballot box in an angry mood, but at least they won’t be apathetic about their candidate choices.

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