GEORGETOWN — After a hard-fought, three-way battle, Lenny Mirra of West Newbury emerged victorious yesterday to clinch the Republic nomination for state representative for the 2nd Essex District.
Mirra will go on to face Democrat Barry Fogel of West Newbury in the November general election,Mirra garnered 1,331 votes, 45 percent of the total, to hold off competitors Bob Cronin of Boxford and Gary Fowler of Georgetown, who finished with 1,120 votes (38 percent) and 501 votes (17 percent) respectively.
The 2nd Essex District includes Newbury, West Newbury, Merrimac, Georgetown, Groveland and parts of Haverhill and Boxford.
“It’s exhilarating,” Mirra said after the numbers came in. “It’s my first race, I’ve never run for office before; it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
With the primary now over, the race to succeed retiring longtime Rep. Harriett Stanley, D-West Newbury, figures to begin in earnest right away. Mirra said he would go back out immediately to continue meeting with voters, something he said was key to his victory.
“We won this campaign mainly by going door to door and meeting with voters face to face, and I’m not going to stop that,” Mirra said. “I do that every single day after work, and I’m going to continue to do that every single day after work, just meet people face to face.”
Mirra plans to focus his campaign on welfare reform, electronic benefit transfer card abuse, pension reform and the Perry amendment.
“It’s about cutting waste so that we can return local aid to where it should be,” Mirra said.
With his opponent in November now clear, Fogel said he sees a sharp contrast between himself and Mirra. He said voters will have a choice to make.
“I know I’m extremely confident in my experience and my expertise is going to be a great benefit to the citizens in this district, and I think that’s what people are looking for,” Fogel said. “Someone with positive ideas and a real understanding of how government works.”