Cassidy wins Brockton primary, fields narrowed in Fitchburg, Peabody

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Gerry Cassidy, a former city councilor and longtime aide to the late Sen. Thomas Kennedy, is on track to become Brockton’s next state representative after winning one of three special primary elections held in Massachusetts Tuesday.

Voters in districts covering Brockton, Peabody, Fitchburg and part of Lunenburg selected their nominees for March 1 elections to fill the seats of lawmakers who left the House in recent months.

Peabody’s race will pit a former representative seeking to reclaim his seat more than 20 years later against the legislative aide for the last person to represent the district.

Fitchburg is poised to have two of its city councilors face off to represent the city and a neighboring precinct on Beacon Hill.

Cassidy, a Brockton Democrat who bested City Councilors Shaynah Barnes and Shirley Asack to capture his party’s nomination, faces no Republican challenge in the contest to succeed former representative and now Sen. Michael Brady in the 9th Plymouth district.

In a special election last fall, Brady won the Senate seat left open after Kennedy’s death.

Cassidy collected 880 votes to secure a win, according to the Brockton Elections Department. The two councilors were one vote apart, with Asack edging out Barnes 527 to 526.

“I just think it was the knowledge of 28 years working side by side with Sen. Tom Kennedy, who was my dear friend, and the constituent services that we provided over the years,” Cassidy said. “We’re looking to continue his legacy.”

In Peabody, Democrat Thomas Walsh and Republican Stephanie Peach will face off against unenrolled candidate Christopher Gallagher. The candidates are seeking the 12th Essex seat formerly held by Leah Cole, who resigned in September to focus on her nursing career.

Totals from the city clerk’s office showed Walsh earned 1,672 votes to beat out James Moutsoulas, who had 537, and Craig Welton, with 459.

Peach, Cole’s legislative aide, brought in 568 votes, while the other Republican contender, Jaclyn Corriveau, earned 458.

“Stephanie Peach has been a strong leader for Peabody as Rep. Leah Cole’s legislative aide and will bring a dynamic enthusiasm for common-sense, reform-oriented government to Beacon Hill,” MassGOP Chair Kirsten Hughes said in a statement.

Fitchburg City Councilor Stephan Hay won the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Worcester primary, according to the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which issued a statement congratulating the three winners.

“Tonight I want to congratulate Thomas Walsh, Stephen Hay and Gerry Cassidy, as well as all the other Democratic candidates, for their willingness to step up, share their ideas and values and put their name on the ballot – making these the strong primary races that they were,” said party chair Tom McGee.

No Republicans were on the ballot for the seat formerly held by Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale, but City Councilor Dean Tran ran a write-in campaign on the GOP side.

The Massachusetts Republican Party declared Tran the winner in his race. “Dean Tran has been a consistent and hard-working advocate for Fitchburg taxpayers for years, and will be a trusted leader for the 3rd Worcester on Beacon Hill,” said MassGOP chair Hughes.

— Written by Katie Lannan

Copyright State House News Service