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Lynn’s Hong Net enters the crowded shadow primary for a potential House election

Hong Net. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Fresh off his re-election to the City Council, Hong Net is looking for another electoral fight.

Net said he’ll run for Rep. Brendan Crighton’s House seat should the Lynn Democrat win his bid for Mayor-elect Thomas M. McGee’s senate seat.

“I want to do something at the state level and I would pick up from where Brendan left,” he said. “In addition, I will bring new ideas to the State House.”

If Crighton succeeds McGee, it will open the 11th Essex District House seat, which includes West Lynn and Nahant.

Net placed third after Brian LaPierre and G. Buzzy Barton for one of four at-large seats.

Ward 6 City Councilor Peter Capano and Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts Executive Director Drew Russo, have already said they plan to run if Crighton moves up.

Donald Castle, a founding member of Protect Our Reservoir — Preserve Pine Grove, said he is considering a run.

“I am planning to put a committee together and see what they think,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity and people have called to ask me if I would run.”

Castle organized the no vote on two ballot questions in March that would have authorized a $188.5 million plan to build two middle schools. The grassroots organization opposed the site for one of the schools on Parkland Avenue.

“I demonstrated that I bring people into the process who were never politically involved before,” he said.

School Commitee member Donna Coppola, who topped the ticket in the school race and received more votes than any City Council candidate, said she won’t run.

“My plate is full,” she said. “I’m not running.”

On the senate seat about to be vacated by McGee, it appears there’s a clear path for Crighton.  

City Councilor-at-Large Brian LaPierre said he thought about making a run over the weekend, but decided not to.

“I’m hyper-focused on Lynn and what I can do as a city councilor in 2018,” he said. “I’m planning to work with Mayor-elect McGee and Council President Darren Cyr and continue the good work we’ve been doing.”

The Third Essex senate district includes Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus and Swampscott.

On the Republican side, it’s unclear if anyone will emerge to take on Crighton.

State Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus) said he is not interested in the senate seat, but declined to endorse anyone.

“I can’t endorse someone now because I don’t know who all the players are,” he said. “Whoever becomes the senator, I will work with them. I am bi-partisan and I will work with everyone for the benefit of Massachusetts.”

Brian Wynne, executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party, did not return a call seeking comment.

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