Fogel challenged Mirra to a series of weekly debates leading up to November.
“I would put that out there right now as an invitation for Lenny,” Fogel said. “Let’s see if we can make something like that happen.”
Mirra said he likes his chances of beating Fogel, in large part because he believes the voter demographics within the district are favorable toward electing a Republican.
“I like it because this part of the district is starting to go a little more red, a little more Republican,” Mirra said. “So I really like our chances.”
In yesterday’s primary, Mirra commanded the vote in his hometown of West Newbury, where he garnered 81 percent of the ballots. He also won Newbury, Merrimac and Groveland by solid, but less dominating margins, but didn’t do as well in Boxford and Haverhill, both of which favored Cronin, or in Georgetown, which overwhelmingly supported Fowler, who is a selectman in town.
Shortly after 9 p.m., Cronin arrived at Mirra’s election party to congratulate him on his victory and wish him luck in the final election. Prior to that, he said the key for Mirra will be to continue working hard every day.
“I think a Republican can win this seat,” Cronin said. “If he keeps working hard, I think he can do it.”
Reached at his home after the votes were tallied, Fowler said he was disappointed with the results, but stood by his campaign strategy.
“The three of us ran what I believe was a fair election,” Fowler said. “I would have done absolutely nothing differently.”
Mirra has spent his whole life working in small business and said he entered the race to help other small business owners who are struggling in today’s economy. He has also self-funded his campaign, contributing $45,249 of his own money to his election effort.
“I owe it to a great team,” Mirra said. “I have the best team in the entire commonwealth — hard work and a great team paid off.”