By Cary Shuman
Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger defeated three other candidates to win the race for Sheriff of Essex County in the general election Tuesday.
Coppinger, a member of the LPD for 33 years, completed a masterfully run campaign with a humble victory speech before a room full of supporters at the Porthole Restaurant.
“Thank you so much,” said Coppinger, who won by a large margin across all 34 cities and towns in Essex County. “I’m still absorbing it, but it’s like, ‘wow,’ to do what we did today and over the last eight months – it’s just incredible.”
Flanked by his wife, Beth, and their son, Sean, Coppinger made remarks as media and friends snapped pictures of the Sheriff-elect.
“I am so indebted to my family right now, my wife, Beth, my son, Sean, and my other son, Kevin, who’s studying abroad in Italy. They’re my backbone, they’re everything in my life. We made this decision as a family and we’re victorious as a family.”
Coppinger, 58, said he began his campaign eight months ago. He topped the ticket in a large field in the Democratic primary and faced off against Republican nominee Anne Manning Martin and Independent candidates Mark Archer and Kevin J. Leach in the final election.
“Running for this office and seeing people out there and seeing how great people are and how kind people are and what they’re concerned about – it really opened my eyes to humanity. I saw another side of life and I’m empowered to be the next, greatest sheriff in Essex County.”
Richard Coppinger, brother of the Sheriff-Elect, said he was very pleased with the solid victory.
“We’ve been in every city and town throughout the county and Kevin did a great job,” said Coppinger. “We’re very happy about the results.”
Jeffrey Earp, a highly respected leader on the Lynn youth sports scene, congratulated Coppinger on a well-deserved victory. “A man of great integrity will be leading our Essex County Sheriff’s Department,” said Earp.
Drew Russo, executive director of the Lynn Museum and a leader in the Democractic Party on the North Shore, praised Coppinger.
“I’m not surprised by his victory. Kevin Coppinger has been an excellent police chief in the city of Lynn. He had the professionalism and the experience to be a phenomenal sheriff for Essex County from Day 1. People looked at his record, what he stands for and they said that he is the person not only to lead the correctional system but really to provide a compassionate, pro-active approach to the opioid crisis which is at the heart of what our concerns are. This was a well-deserved win tonight.”
Agnes Ricko, chair of the Lynn Democratic City Committee, said, “Kevin Coppinger was a great police officer and will be a terrific chief.” Ricko’s husband, Al, served with Coppinger in the LPD.
Beth Coppinger, who was supportive of her husband’s decision to run for Sheriff and accompanied him on the successful eight-month journey, said, “I’m unbelievably proud. He was the best candidate from the beginning. Ed Davis said so. Kevin Burke said so. And 48 chiefs of police said so. I think he’ll be an outstanding sheriff because he cares and he can bring a new perspective.”