Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

January 30, 2014

Finegold's bid opens campaign doors

Sen. Barry Finegold this week is making official what has been expected for months.

The Andover Democrat has been laying the groundwork for his decision to seek higher office in the role of state treasurer for close to a year.

He’s been working behind-the-scenes to build his campaign account, which has doubled in the last six months to more than $430,000, and has been increasing his visibility statewide in recent weeks with some higher-profile political activity.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed an election reforms bill that he helped to craft as co-chairman of the Election Laws Committee. Finegold, who has been working for years to see progress on the bill that allows for early voting and online and election-day registration, said the initiative had bipartisan support, which could only help him in the treasurer’s race.

Last week, he took the spotlight when he and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, joined with a coalition of legislators to champion a change in the parole opportunities for juveniles sentenced to life in first-degree murder cases. The action grew in part out of his commitment to seek justice for the family of Andover’s Colleen Ritzer, the Danvers High School teacher slain last year, allegedly by a then-14-year-old student,

Finegold’s hopes at advancing his political career are only natural. He spent 14 years representing Andover in the state House of Representatives before winning the Senate seat for the Second Essex and Middlesex District, which includes Andover, Tewksbury, Dracut and part of Lawrence, in 2011.

His bid for the treasurer’s post being vacated by now-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Grossman will not be without a challenge. Fellow Democrats Deb Goldberg, a 2006 candidate for lieutenant governor, and state Rep. Tom Conroy have already expressed their intentions to pursue their party’s nomination. And businessman Mike Heffernan announced this week on the Republican side.

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