On Election Day, Local Races to Watch are DeFranco vs. Finegold for Senate, Finn vs. Ramos for Rep.

Sen. Barry R. Finegold, left, in 2022, and Republican Senate candidate Salvatore P. DeFranco in 2018. (WHAV News photographs.)

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Merrimack Valley residents are focused on only a handful of local races and names on this final election day.

Drawing the most attention locally is the contest between incumbent Democratic Sen. Barry R. Finegold and Republican Salvatore P. DeFranco for the newly configured 2nd Essex and Middlesex senate district.

Besides most of Haverhill, the 2nd Essex and Middlesex includes Amesbury, Andover, Merrimac, North Andover precincts 1-6, Tewksbury and Wilmington.

The other senate seat, the 1st Essex Senate District is intended to be a minority held seat, representing Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill’s core. Locally, that contest was decided in September during party primaries when Democrat Pavel Payano won the new majority minority district serving Lawrence, Methuen and parts of Haverhill. There is no Republican opponent.

The Senate and House Redistricting Committees, with enforcement by Sen. President Karen E. Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano, succeeded in watering down Haverhill’s influence on Beacon Hill, carving up Haverhill between two senate districts and eliminating two of its four state representatives.

In the 14th Essex District, Rep. Christina A. Minicucci opted to step down after the district dropped Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence. Democrat Adrianne Ramos ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and faces Republican Joseph G. Finn. Both reside in North Andover. Second Essex District incumbent, Rep. Lenny Mirra, a Georgetown Republican, ran unopposed in his primary. He faces Hamilton Democrat Kristin E. Kassner The district sheds Haverhill, Groveland, Merrimac and Boxford and adds Hamilton, Ipswich and Topsfield.

Two settled Haverhill races are seats in the House of Representatives. Next January, Democratic 3rd Essex District incumbent Haverhill Rep. Andy X. Vargas returns to the state house. He will be joined by newcomer Ryan M. Hamilton of Methuen, also a Democrat, taking the 15th Essex District currently held by Rep. Linda Dean Campbell. Campbell chose not to see re-election.

Polls are open until 8 p.m.

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