LYNN — State Rep. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) will be on the only name on the ballot for Tuesday’s special primary to fill Mayor Thomas M. McGee’s former senate seat.
Crighton is running for McGee’s former 3rd Essex District Senate seat, which he vacated upon becoming mayor. The district encompasses the communities of Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus and Swampscott.
The final election is on March 6.
Crighton’s only public challenge for the final election comes from Michael Walsh, a write-in Republican candidate from Lynnfield.
Walsh, an attorney and member of the Lynnfield Housing Authority, said he hopes to win the Republican primary as a write-in candidate on Tuesday to move onto the final election against Crighton.
“I think it’s always important to vote and while I’m the only name on the ballot, this has presented a great opportunity to get out and meet folks to learn about the issues that are important to them,” said Crighton. “We’re going to continue to get out and knock on doors, have neighborhood meetings and events, and hopefully get people to the polls on Tuesday and then again on March 6.”
If elected, Crighton said he would get to work on the big issues facing the Commonwealth.
“We’re facing a housing crisis, opioid epidemic and (we) obviously want to improve access to jobs, to affordable education and job training,” Crighton said. “I think immediately we’ll be jumping into the senate budget and the end of our two-year session which typically has a lot of big issues coming up.
“I have big shoes to fill, certainly with Sen. McGee leaving, but given my 9½ years in his office, my experience on the (City) Council and three years as a rep, I think I can hit the ground running for the district.”
If Crighton wins his bid for the senate, his house seat would become available next fall. Three candidates — Lynn City Councilors Peter Capano and Hong Net and Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts Executive Director Drew Russo — have announced their intention to run.
Walsh said he is focusing on a message about jobs, fiscal discipline, transparency and trying to make government more responsive.
“I’m trying to give the citizens of the towns a larger voice in the legislature,” he said. “I believe the residents of the district deserve a choice in representation.”
James Lamanna, the city’s attorney, said a primary is required by state law for a senate race to allow the opportunity for a write-in candidate to get on the final election ballot.
Janet Rowe, city clerk, said a write-in candidate would have to receive 300 votes in the primary to appear on the final election ballot, which is the same amount of signatures a senate candidate is required to obtain for their nomination papers
She said the cost of running a primary election is approximately $50,000. It will also cost the city that amount for the final election. She said the state only reimburses about 40 percent per election.
In Lynn, there are currently 52,908 registered voters ahead of Tuesday’s special primary, according to the City Clerk’s office, which stated that it was difficult to predict voter turnout.
Polling places in the city for Tuesday’s primary are Shoemaker School on Clearwater Avenue for Ward 1, Precinct 1; Pondview Lodge at 112 Kernwood Drive for Ward 1, Precinct 2; Sisson School at 56 Conomo Ave. at Ward 1, Precincts 3 and 4; St. Pius Lower Church Hall on Maple Street for Ward 2, Precincts 1-4; Marshall Middle School for all of Ward 3; KIPP Academy at 90 High Rock St. for Ward 4, Precincts 1 and 2; Lynn Museum at 590 Washington St. for Ward 4, Precincts 3 and 4; Lynn Vocational Technical Institute Annex at 90 Commercial St. for Ward 5, Precincts 1-3; Lynn Housing Authority Community Hall at 10 Church St. for Ward 5, Precinct 4, Lynn Tech Fieldhouse at 80 Neptune Blvd. for Ward 6, Precincts 1-4 and Breed Middle School at 90 O’Callaghan Way for all of Ward 7.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.