NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 7, 2012

Mirra claims 2nd Essex seat

Republican to succeed Stanley on Beacon Hill

(Continued)

Mirra entered the general election season riding a wave of momentum after he emerged from a hard-fought, three-way primary race for the Republican nomination, beating out Robert Cronin of Boxford and Gary Fowler of Georgetown.

But Fogel, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination, built his own momentum by emphasizing his credentials as a lawyer who understands the legislative process, while casting his opponent as unqualified for the job.

After the race, Fogel said he was disappointed with the result, but was proud of the campaign he ran, saying the fact that the 2nd Essex District tends to lean Republican, along with the several key endorsements Mirra received, were probably the main factors in the outcome. He said it likely helped Mirra considerably to have the endorsement of the district’s respected state Sen. Bruce Tarr.

“That may well have been the difference,” Fogel said.

The two candidates faced off in three debates during the month of October in Boxford, Haverhill and Georgetown. In each, the candidates presented their visions on the economy, government regulation, state policy and what they intend to do if elected.

Fogel presented himself as a pragmatic lawmaker who believes Massachusetts is on the right track, while Mirra championed himself as a voice for small business who would fight to cut wasteful spending and bring about a healthier environment for businesses to operate in.

The campaign was largely a cordial affair until a mailer sent out by Fogel’s campaign last week drew accusations of dirty politics and the threat of litigation from Mirra.

The mailer sent by Fogel’s campaign to voters cited a Fox 25 report from February 2010 saying that a trucking division of Mirra’s family-owned company received the second-lowest rating in the state for safety from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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