Two Haverhill Women Make Contest Out of Tuesday’s Republican State Committee Ballot

Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello and Jeri Ann Levasseur. (WHAV News and courtesy photographs.)

Complete results below.

While most eyes were on presidential contenders Tuesday, a little-known local contest between two Haverhill women proved to be quite competitive.

Haverhill School Committee member Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello was re-elected as Republican state committeewoman for the First Essex District, but first-time challenger Jeri Ann Levasseur came in a relatively close second. In unofficial totals districtwide, Ryan-Ciardiello received 4,418 votes to Levasseur’s 3,958. Levasseur, who moved to Haverhill from Danvers in 2004, told WHAV city and town committees rely on the state party leaders to help local groups grow and become visible.

“I didn’t run for this position because I don’t like somebody. I ran for it because there is a dire need in this very blue state to have a two-party system,” she said.

She explained local committees need more help from the state party to thrive. Retired from Massachusetts General Hospital, Levasseur said, she would have time to help city and town committees. She found North Andover’s Republican Town Committee, for example, to be “more welcoming” than Haverhill’s. Besides visiting all area committee chairs, Levasseur’s campaign used social media, a mailing and robocalls. She won’t rule out another run for state committeewoman. The posts are not government jobs, but rather political party posts.

Ryan-Ciardiello went on to take Haverhill, Methuen, North Andover, Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury, while Levasseur took Merrimac.

Haverhill, the largest community in the First Essex state senate district dominated party politics. Ryan-Ciardiello’s brother-in-law, incumbent Republican State Committeeman Shaun P. Toohey, fended off a significant challenge from Ryan A. Hawkes of North Andover. His other opponents, however, Michael J. Grammont, Jack A. Roy and Alexander R. Veras, were all from Haverhill.

Toohey chalked up 4,772 votes, winning re-election. Hawkes came in second with 2,660 votes.

On the Democratic side, both Haverhill state committee incumbents were re-elected. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Louise C. Bevilacqua ran unopposed for state committee.

State CommitteeNorth AndoverMethuenHaverhillMerrimacAmesburyNewburyport SalisburyTotals
Democratic State Committeeman
James J. Fiorentini217148157792109726743671122823448
Democratic State Committeewoman
Louise C. Bevilacqua22174890749279727613815126923241
Republican State Commiteeman
Shaun P. Toohey289122817432374673893694722
Michael Grammont308922814262222431
Ryan A. Hawkes3908266381582442231812660
Jack A. Roy1415131142433635632
Alexander R. Veras84613613182115257
Republican State Committeewoman
Maura L. Ryan Ciardiello377114315961974123423514418
Jeri Ann Levasseur298110013722583683162463958

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