Published in the January 24, 2018 edition


LYNNFIELD — The special election for an open state Senate seat became a lot more interesting last week.

In a surprising turn of events, Lynnfield Housing Authority member Michael Walsh, 7 Townsend Rd., informed Town Clerk Trudy Reid on Wednesday, Jan. 17, that he is running as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination in the Third Essex District state Senate primary and special election this winter.

“The secretary of state recommends that election officials be notified by candidates who intend to run as write-in/sticker candidates,” said Walsh in a letter given to Reid. “Please be advised that I intend to seek election in the Third Essex District of the state senate by running as a write-in candidate for the Republican primary nomination. If there is anything I can do to make this easier for you and the election officials, please let me know.”

The Third Essex District, which is comprised of Lynnfield, Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus and Swampscott, is holding a special election in order to fill Lynn Mayor Tom McGee’s old state Senate seat.

The primary election will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 6. The special election will take place on Tuesday, March 6. Voters in all four precincts will vote at Lynnfield High School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

State Rep. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) is the only candidate to file the required paperwork necessary to get his name on the ballot. Reid certified Crighton’s Lynnfield signatures last November.

In an email sent to the Villager, Walsh said he is running as a write-in candidate for state Senate because, “I feel that the voters of the district deserve a choice in representation.” 

“I also strongly believe that we all have an obligation to step up, in civic life, and contribute to the public good,” Walsh added.

When asked what qualities does he have that would make him a positive addition to the state Senate, Walsh commented, “I am a lifelong resident of Lynnfield.”

“Having grown up in town, I have always used Lynnfield as a yardstick by which I measure other communities and their government,” said Walsh.  “I was actively involved in Scouts, earning my Eagle Scout badge. In one of my first experiences with town government, I petitioned Town Meeting to amend our bylaws regarding our town flag. I earned my bachelor of science degree in Government from Suffolk University when I was 17, becoming their youngest graduate.

“I interned for Representative Mark Falzone, and Senator Richard Tisei at the Statehouse,” Walsh continued.  “I then earned two post graduate legal degrees, also from Suffolk University.  My father and I practice law in Lynnfield. I presently serve as an elected member of the Lynnfield Housing Authority.

“My studies of government combined with experience first as an intern at the Statehouse and now on the Housing Authority have shown me what it takes to get things done in government.  Likewise, my legal education and experience in a small Lynnfield law practice have taught me about how government must work with its residents for everyone’s sake.”

Walsh also said his experience serving on the Housing Authority would be an asset if he is elected to the open Third Essex District state Senate seat.

“There is a difference between what you learn in government classes and the real world,” said Walsh. “Interning at the Statehouse was a great experience, but it is different actually serving in office where all of the problems have names and faces. I feel that my experiences on the authority will translate well.  Matters like budgeting, setting priorities, making policy and personnel decisions has taught me a great deal about how government actually works in practice. I hope to bring that experience to bear on the many issues facing state government.”

Walsh said he is in the process of notifying the remaining municipal clerks in the Third Essex District about his write-in candidacy. 

In response to a question about what his priorities will be if elected to the state senate, Walsh said, “I believe that government exists to make our lives better.”

“My hope is to enable all of us to use government to benefit the people of the district,” said Walsh.

Walsh also said he has decided to run for state senate because he wants to give the communities in the district a bigger voice.

“Lynnfield is dwarfed in our district by the city of Lynn,” said Walsh.  “Lynn is a city with real problems and real needs, but the small towns in the district also need to have their voices heard.  I hope to represent not only Lynn, but also to be an advocate for the five other towns including Lynnfield.”

Walsh noted whoever fills the state Senate seat will run for re-election in November.

“Our district is dominated by Lynn,” said Walsh. “None of the Republicans from the towns has filed to challenge Mayor McGee’s successor.  This is a rare opportunity to see if the towns can get a voice in the senate.  It is a very short term, but I hope in that time to show all of the people in the district that I can make a difference for them.”