As Andover Democratic Sen. Barry Finegold was poised to make his bid for treasurer public today, the Merrimack Valley was abuzz with talk of possible contenders to fill the seat he would leave vacant.
Rumors flew fast and furious as Republicans and Democrats mulled the options ahead.
Republican Alex Vispoli, a member of the Board of Selectmen in Andover, has already thrown his hat in the ring.
“I want to thank Barry for his years of service to the people of Andover, Dracut, Lawrence, and Tewksbury,” he said in an emailed statement. “I wish him the best of luck in the Democrat primary. His decision to seek higher office gives the people of this district an opportunity for a new direction. I believe now is the time to elect a Senator who can use his business experience to demand accountability of our tax dollars and work to put people back to work.”
It is the second go-round for Vispoli, who ran for the Senate seat in 2012 but lost in the primary.
Democrat Barbara L’Italien, a member of the Andover School Committee, said she was waiting until Finegold made his intentions known during a press conference this afternoon in Hyde Park.
“I’m sure, once Barry makes it official, you’ll see a number of people announce,” she said. When asked if she had any interest, she answered, “We’ll see what happens.”
L’Italien is a former state representative who lost a bid in 2012 to regain her seat from Andover Republican Jim Lyons.
Tewksbury Selectman Doug Sears, secretary of his town’s Republican Committee, said he had heard rumors that Democrat Scott Wilson, also a Tewksbury Selectman, was mulling a run for the seat.
“He had considered it, but realized it was rather daunting and decided against it,” said Sears.