Rep. Mirra Fends Off Democratic Challenger Eckert; Returns to State House for Fifth Term

State Rep. Leonard Mirra. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Christina Eckert addresses supporters via Zoom. (WHAV News photograph.)

Months of campaigning came to an end last night in the race for the 2nd Essex representative seat when incumbent Leonard Mirra of West Newbury defeated his Democratic challenger Christina Eckert of Boxford.

As of last night’s news deadline Mirra had a 787-vote lead over Eckert with a total of 14,849 votes to Eckert’s 14,062.

Mirra said he attributed his win to the hard work of his staff who spent a great deal of time going door to door and the endorsement of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. Mirra also pointed to the efforts of his campaign manager John Olds.

This year’s race was a rematch of the 2018 campaign where Eckert lost to Mirra by 324 votes.

In conceding defeat, Eckert told supporters via a virtual gathering that although the outcome was disappointing, she is pleased to have won their support.

“I can’t feel sad when I see your faces, so thank you for being here and thank you for everything you’ve done for this campaign—all the leafleting, all the phone calls, all the standing out in the cold holding signs. I have nothing to complain about. I have you. I’m really, really grateful to you and I’m so glad that you’re part of my life,” she said.

She wished Mirra great success in tackling issues such as COVID-19 and the environment.

This was the only contested local race on this year’s ballot.

Breaking out communities, Mirra won all communities except Haverhill, Eckert’s home town of Boxford and Newbury. Totals were Haverhill: Mirra,1,683 and Eckert, 1,803; Georgetown: Mirra, 3,042 and Eckert, 2,305; Groveland: Mirra, 2,428 and Eckert, 1,949; Merrimac: Mirra, 2,076 and Eckert, 2,055; Newbury, Mirra, 2,266 and Eckert, 2,530; and West Newbury: Mirra, 1,646 and Eckert, 1,540.

Elsewhere in the state the blue wave continued with Democratic Sen. Edward Markey defeating his Republican challenger Kevin J. O’Connor.

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