Local Government and Politics, News

Lynn’s Capano wins Democratic primary for 11th Essex state representative

Peter Capano gets a kiss from Joan Kelley, one of his campaign workers, after winning the race for state representative on Tuesday. (Owen O'Rourke)

Lynn City Councilor Peter Capano has won the Democratic primary for 11th Essex state representative and will run unopposed for the seat in November.

Capano came in second in the polls in Nahant, but won handily in Lynn, which carried him to victory in the primary.

The 11th Essex district includes West Lynn and Nahant. The seat has been vacant since Brendan Crighton was elected state senator earlier this year.

Voter turnout was a paltry 15 percent in Lynn. Figures were not made available in Nahant.

Capano received a total of 1,840 votes between the two municipalities — 1,602 in Lynn, or 53 percent of the vote, and 238 in Nahant.

Drew Russo came in second in the polls. He won Nahant with 509 votes and received 913 in Lynn, or 30 percent of the vote.

Hong Net placed third in both municipalities, with 487 ballots cast in Lynn, or 16 percent of the vote, and 96 votes in Nahant.

Capano, Lynn’s Ward 6 Councilor, said he would step down from the City Council if elected state representative in November. His will be the only name on the ballot in the election.

“I’m just blown away right now,” said Capano. “It feels great. It was a lot of hard work. I have a big team. It was a great campaign by all three candidates. It was a clean campaign — probably the first time I remember candidates discussing the issues without getting nasty or anything like that. I’m really proud to be a part of that whole thing.”

Capano said he thinks his experience from being a longtime city councilor helped him in the campaign, along with a message that resonated with people, which was that Lynn is a whole city, not just a downtown.

He plans to focus on issues such as economic development, workforce development, jobs, bringing the ferry back to Lynn, and coastal flooding in the wake of two major rain storms within a year’s time that brought widespread flooding and structural damage throughout the city.

The primary marked Russo’s first time running for elected office.

“We left everything on the field and I’m proud of the campaign we ran, and I’m excited that a person of Peter Capano’s caliber will represent us in the legislature in the next session,” Russo said. “I’m disappointed that we fell short, but my passion for the community remains.”

Hong, a Lynn City Councilor-at-Large, said he was honored to have had the opportunity to run for state representative and thanked his supporters in his defeat.

“I’m happy for Pete,” Hong said. “I just wish him the best and I’ll do anything I can to support him.”


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