LYNN — State Rep. Brendan Crighton’s bid for the senate just got a whole lot easier.
The Lynn Democrat was the only candidate to file papers in the City Clerk’s office by the deadline Tuesday to run for the seat soon to be vacated by state Sen. and Mayor-elect Thomas M. McGee, according to the City Clerk’s office.
“This won’t change our game plan at all,” said Crighton. “Our goal is to meet as many voters and residents as we can throughout the Third Essex District. We will continue to knock on doors, make phone calls, and have meetings in each of our communities.”
The Third Essex District includes Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6.
Last month, Paul Crowley, CEO of Greater Lynn Senior Services, pulled papers to seek the senate seat, but he failed to file signatures by deadline. Crowley, a former City Councilor, is an unenrolled voter who voted Republican in four of the last six primary elections. He did not return a call seeking comment.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, a Republican, hinted at running for the seat in her concession speech after losing her bid for a third term in November. But that’s off the table, she said.
“If that election was scheduled for next fall or next year, maybe I would have done that,” she said. “But since it’s scheduled so soon, I do not have the heart, the energy, or the money to wage a campaign.”
Crighton served as a City Councilor and McGee’s chief of staff before getting elected to the House in 2014. He’s a member of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses, Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Public Health, and Committee on Revenue.
McGee said the timing for Crighton’s election is good because he will work well with the new, young members of the senate.
“I can tell you how well respected he is at the State House,” he said. “He will be a great leader in the district and a partner in the senate for the city of Lynn. I look forward to working with him in my new role as mayor in January.”
Crighton’s election to the senate will open up his 11th Essex District House seat, which includes West Lynn and Nahant. Three candidates have declared they are in the running, including Ward 6 City Councilor Peter Capano, Drew Russo, executive director of the Lynn Museum, and City Councilor-at-Large Hong Net.
This is not the first time a Lynn candidate has run unopposed. In 2016, former City Council President Daniel Cahill had no opposition when he sought the House seat vacated by Robert Fennell, who served as state representative for two decades before taking a job at the Lynn Water & Sewer Commission.