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Archer, Leach make independent runs

Mark Archer is a Lynn native and retired Massachusetts State Trooper who is currently practicing law.

By THOMAS GRILLO and ADAM SWIFT

In addition to the Republican and Democratic nominees, two Independent candidates are looking to become the next Essex County Sheriff.

Mark Archer is a Lynn native and retired Massachusetts State Trooper who is currently practicing law.

After graduating from Lynn Tech in 1980, he joined the plumbers’ union and then started his own plumbing business in Lynn in 1985. He joined the State Police in 1988, working as a road trooper and then an undercover narcotics officer. While in the State Police, he earned a law degree.

Archer said he will bring his unique experience to bring change to the sheriff’s department.

“The House of Corrections lacks accountability and transparency,” Archer said. “The time for change is now, and I bring 20 years of experience in all aspects of law enforcement to the House of Corrections.”

Currently, Archer said people are being warehoused in the system without proper contact with loved ones and without programs and services to help reduce recidivism.

Archer is endorsed by the State Police Association of Massachusetts, the Commissioners and Officers of the Massachusetts State Police, former DEA agent and Democratic sheriff candidate Paul L.D. Russell, the retired deputy superintendent of the Middleton House of Corrections Jerry Robito and the New England Police Benevolent Association.

Kevin Leach, a retired county commissioner and Northeastern University graduate, said he’s qualified to be sheriff because he has 40 years of criminal justice and law enforcement experience that started with being a police officer in 1975.

Most recently he served as foreman of the Essex County Grand Jury.

“That’s where we indict the murderers, the rapists and the robbers,” he said.  

As Essex County Commissioner, Leach oversaw a $50 million county budget, supervised and appointed department heads, negotiated and approved collective bargaining agreements with labor unions and worked with legislators, mayors and judges on many issues.

While Leach said he likes Coppinger, one of his opponents, and has few disagreements with the Lynn law enforcement officer, voters should vote for him.

“Kevin’s a good man, I have nothing bad to say about him,” he said. “But I’m an Independent and I have more experience with the county system and I have actual sheriff’s office experience as deputy sheriff superintendent.”

Leach said he supports Question 4, the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, and won’t vote for Hillary Clinton. He hasn’t decided on whether to vote for Donald Trump.

“I will make that decision in the voting booth,” he said.

Archer said he intends to work closely with the employees of the sheriff’s office to set a positive tone, boost and maintain morale, and establish a high level of trust. He said he plans to build on the strengths and achievements of the current sheriff and department, but will also aim to evaluate the effectiveness of all of the services that the department provides to the county.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at [email protected]. Adam Swift can be reached at [email protected]

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