Local candidates for senator and state representative won close primary races Tuesday night.

Lawrence City Councilor Pavel Payano won the First Essex District Democratic race for state senator, receiving 51% of the vote.

“This campaign has been about so much more than what we got done on election night,” he said. “It’s about more than just telling you what’s wrong and who to blame for it, it’s about rolling up our sleeves, bringing folks together and finding solutions to our toughest challenges. It’s making sure that everyone who calls the Merrimack Valley home has access to their version of the American Dream.”

Payano will fill the seat of outgoing state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, who led the district since 2019 and is now running for state auditor.

He was followed by Methuen City Councilor Eunice Zeigler, who received 40% of the vote, and Doris Rodriguez, who received 8%.

Although Zeigler and Payano took decisive first-place finishes in Methuen and Lawrence, the results in Haverhill were much closer with Zeigler taking 44% of the vote to Payano’s 40%.

In addition to serving on the City Council and School Committee, Payano co-founded the Sandbox Leadership Institute for the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Initiative and served as the special assistant to then-Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. He is also the former director of community mobilization for the Social Innovation Forum.

There will not be a Republican candidate on the ballot in the general election Nov. 8.

16th Essex District

There will be a new face in the House of Representatives from the 16th Essex District.

Challenger Francisco Paulino received 53% of the vote to pull off a victory over state Rep. Marcos Devers, who received 47%.

In Methuen, Paulino easily took first place with 63% of the vote as Devers received 37%. The results in Lawrence were much tighter with 51% of the vote for Devers and 49% for Paulino.

Paulino is a senior tax associate at Madison Tax, a position he has held since 2011. He also serves on the Lawrence Human Rights Commission and is a former School Committee member.

There will not be a Republican candidate on the ballot in the general election Nov. 8.

Fourth Essex District

Lawrence City Councilor Estela Reyes secured a narrow victory in the Democratic primary election for a House of Representatives seat from the new Fourth Essex District.

Reyes received 51% of the vote.

“First and foremost, I want to say thank you to my partner, Abel, and my family as well as my amazing team, which includes volunteers, voters and supporters who have worked tirelessly and did not stop believing in me,” Reyes said. “I ran for state representative in the Fourth Essex District because each and every resident in this district deserves access to opportunities that help them reach their fullest potential, a safe place to raise our families, quality health care, growth opportunities for local businesses, and I believe that I am the most qualified state representative candidate to get us there.”

Reyes has been on the Lawrence City Council since 2012 and is the current vice president. She also took part in the Never Again Movement, which prevented Columbia Gas from doing business in Massachusetts following the Merrimack Valley gas explosions in 2018.

She was opposed by former Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua and Methuen City Councilor James McCarty.

“I threw everything I had into this race and have no regrets about the race I ran over the past nine months,” McCarty said. “Methuen had more ballots cast but we could not make up for the margin in Lawrence. I am looking forward to continuing to fight the good fight for both communities.”

There will not be a Republican candidate on the ballot in the general election Nov. 8.

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