, Newburyport, MA

September 7, 2012

Toohey wins GOP nod in 1st Essex Senate race

Claims 70 percent of vote over Meas

By Shawn Regan
Staff Writer

---- — HAVERHILL — Republican Shaun Toohey topped his GOP challenger Sam Meas, both of Haverhill, with about 70 percent of the vote in yesterday’s primary for the 1st Essex Senate seat previously held by Steven Baddour.

“I’m so happy with this result,” Toohey, 42, said while celebrating his victory with supporters at Maria’s Restaurant in downtown Haverhill. “This proves hard work pays off and that my message really resonated with voters.”

A member of the Haverhill School Committee since 2004, Toohey moves on to face last night’s successful Democratic candidate Kathleen O’Connor Ives of Newburyport and two independent candidates, Amesbury City Councilor James Kelcourse and Haverhill School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti, in the Nov. 6 finals.

O’Connor Ives defeated former Methuen Mayor William Manzi and Haverhill businessman Tim Coco in yesterday’s Democratic primary.

“I’m looking forward to an issues-based, positive campaign against my opponents over the next eight weeks,” Toohey said. “No one’s going to outwork me.”

Meas, 40, a Cambodian immigrant and financial services consultant who owns a small grocery store in Lynn, said he worked as hard as he could, but was hampered by limited financial resources and having to work long hours at his day job. Meas, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010, said he would consider running for public office again.

“I have a strong desire to give back to a country and community that has given so much to me,” said Meas, who as a child survived his native country’s civil war before coming to the United States.

Toohey congratulated Meas for running a positive campaign; Meas wished Toohey success in the finals.

“It’s hard not to say good things about Sam,” Toohey said. “He’s a terrific and very likeable guy.”

Toohey bested Meas in Haverhill 1,411 to 761; in Methuen 964 to 453; in North Andover 324 to 207; in Amesbury 340 to 127; in Newburyport 418 to 239; in Salisbury 219 to 62; and in Merrimac 253 to 96.