At least three state legislators in area, including State Rep. Brian Dempsey, D-Haverhill, who many see as a front runner to eventually succeed Robert DeLeo as Speaker of the House, will not face a challenger either in the September party primary or in the general election in November.
Freshman Democrat Frank Moran of Lawrence, a former City Councilor there, did not attract an opponent this year in the 17th Essex House seat, and neither did second-term Republican state Rep. James Lyons of Andover in the 18th Essex House seat.
Dempsey’s district is totally within Haverhill. Moran’s is western Lawrence, northern Andover and a precinct in central Methuen. Lyons’ district includes most of Andover, half of North Andover and part of Tewksbury.
“We intend to run a campaign by continuing to reach out to the people of the district, looking for input on issues important to them and spending the summer talking to residents about their priorities to take to Beacon Hill,” Lyons said.
In the state Senate, freshman Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, will be challenged by Methuen Democrat Jessica Finocchiaro in the primary, which will be held Sept. 9. The winner will face Haverhill Republican Shaun Toohey, a School Committee member.
Toohey ran for the seat in 2012, losing in a four-way race along with Amesbury City Council James Kelcourse and fellow Haverhill School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti.
Kelcourse and Magliocchetti both ran as independents.
The other major local state Senate race has several Democrats lining up to succeed state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, who is running for state Treasurer.
Former state Rep. Barbara L’Italien of Andover has turned in the 300 signatures necessary to get on the ballot for the Second Essex and Middlesex Senate district, which includes Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury, and is expected to face off against two Lawrence residents, School Committee member Pavel Payano and Doris Rodriguez.