LAWRENCE — Already an attorney and a Lawrence firefighter, Lt. Michael Armano said he now wants to be a vocal proponent for the working class in the Merrimack Valley.
Armano, a 40-year-old Democrat, confirmed Tuesday he is running for the state Senate seat being vacated by Barbara L'Italien, who is running for Congress in the 3rd District.
The 2nd Essex and Middlesex Senate seat covers Andover, Lawrence, Tewksbury and Dracut, where Armano now lives with his wife and three children.
Raised in Lawrence, Armano is a 1996 graduate of Central Catholic High School. He later earned degrees from UMass Lowell, Massachusetts School of Law in Andover and Anna Maria College, where he obtained a master's degree in public administration.
Seven years ago, Armano was appointed as a Lawrence firefighter following in the public service footsteps of his father, who was also a city firefighter, and his grandfather who was a Lawrence police officer.
"Growing up my values and principles have always been aligned with working class people ... It is our responsibility to care for people and help find solutions to problems," said Armano, adding his grandparents always encouraged him to work hard and pursue his education.
Prior to his firefighting job, where Armano is now assigned in the fire prevention and investigation unit, he worked as a real estate attorney, was a full-time substitute for the Boston Public Schools and was also the wrestling coach at Central Catholic for 16 years.
Armano said there are many issues that triggering his run and fueling his campaign including affordable housing, home ownership, public education, mental health, addiction and homelessness.
"We see these things every day," said Armano, referring to firefighters.
If elected, Armano plans to take a leave of absence from the fire department to serve in the Senate.
Others eyeing a Senate run so far are Andover's Barry Finegold, who held the seat from 2011 to 2015, and Pavel Payano, a newly elected city councilor in Lawrence.
The Lawrence Firefighters Union, Local 146, has already endorsed Armano. Next month, Armano will also ask state union leaders, the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, for its endorsement as well, he said.
Armano said he feels strongly the seat must be held by "somebody who is dedicated to public service."
"I picked this position for a purpose ... I want to bring the voice of these communities to the state level," he explained. "The same yearning I had to be a firefighter is at the same calling I have now. I need to be the voice of these people."
He vowed to be "accountable, reachable and approachable."
His brother, Karl Armano, is his campaign treasurer, and a committee has been formed for his fundraising, he said.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.