Rep. Vargas Faces No Challenger in First Re-Election Bid; Others Face Opposition

Rep. Andy X. Vargas. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

Rep. Andy X. Vargas addresses supporters when he formally announced his bid for re-election. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

Freshman state Rep. Andy X. Vargas, elected in a special election last fall, will not face a challenger for his first full term. Other members of Haverhill’s legislative delegation, however, face opponents.

As of 5 p.m., Tuesday—the deadline for returning completed nomination papers—Vargas did not appear to have an opponent, according to Haverhill City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas. Responding to WHAV, Vargas said he has a good track record for such a short tenure.

“We’ve hit the ground running during the past six months, filing legislation and securing funding for early education, infrastructure, homelessness and the substance abuse epidemic. It’s been an honor to serve the people of Haverhill and I look forward to continuing to work hard on our city’s behalf,” Vargas said.

Democrat Vargas succeeded Brian S. Dempsey as the 3rd Essex District representative after beating Republican opponent Shaun P. Toohey last Nov. 7. Vargas received 3,889 total votes to Toohey’s 3,403.

In the 14th Essex, Democrats Lisa Yarid Ferry of Methuen and Christina Minicucci of North Andover returned nomination papers as did Republican Ryan Losco of North Andover. Sitting state Rep. Diana DiZoglio of Methuen has opted to give up her seat to run for the 1st Essex state senate seat.

For the 15th Essex state representative seat, incumbent Linda Dean Campbell of Methuen faces a challenge from unenrolled candidate Anand Gonsalves.

Incumbent West Newbury Republican Leonard Mirra faces opposition from Boxford Democrat Christina Eckert for the 2nd Essex state representative seat.

With Democratic incumbent Kathleen O’Connor Ives not seeking election, DiZoglio faces challenges from Amesbury Republican Alexander Leighton Williams and Salisbury Libertarian Sampson P. Racioppi.

All nomination papers are still subject to signature verification.

In the race for register of deeds, incumbent Democrat John O’Brien Jr. faces a primary challenge from Alice Rose Merkl. The Democratic nominee faces Republican Jonathan E. Ring of Rockport during this fall’s final election.

Incumbent Clerk of Courts Thomas H. Driscoll Jr. of Swampscott is expected to face unenrolled candidate David D. Colpitts of Salem.

Sitting District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett is unopposed for reelection.