TEWKSBURY — State Rep. Paul Adams accused state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, of “constantly raising taxes” and being apart of Beacon Hill’s “go along to get along crowd” last night during a debate at Tewksbury Memorial High School.
Adams is challenging Finegold for the 2nd Essex and Middlesex Senate district seat, representing Andover, Lawrence, Tewksbury and Dracut.
While Adams, R-Andover, was on the offense for much of the hourlong debate, Finegold mostly stuck to defending his record and speaking about his accomplishments since taking the seat in 2010 after serving for 15 years in the 17th Essex House district.
“I think one of the most important things a state Senator can do is to listen,” Finegold said. “This is why I had listening forums in every community in this district.”
He noted working with Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, to unfreeze unemployment benefits, increasing local aid in all four communities and making prescription drugs more affordable for senior citizens, to name a few.
Adams said he is running to take the state into a different direction. He said as state representative he has fought to reduce taxes, lower “obscene” government spending and increase local aid.
“If elected state senator I will continue working on those same priorities,” Adams said. “I think my opponent has done the opposite, which illustrates the big differences between us.”
The candidates were asked if allowing Lawrence to borrow $35 million from the state without a financial oversight board was worth the taxpayers’ money, given the controversy surrounding budgets and the indictments of city leaders.
“The city’s finances are being managed,” Adams said. “A big problem that I see is that when my opponent was state representative he voted to cut local aid to the city of Lawrence by millions of dollars and then only one year later had to vote to allow the city to bail itself out with a $35 million loan.”