There was little drama to be found in the special election which saw Brendan Crighton win the third Essex District state Senate seat that opened up after its former occupant, Thomas McGee, was elected mayor of Lynn in November.
Crighton and his supporters gathered at Tony’s Pub & Grill for the post-election celebration. He was sworn in by the Governor’s Council Wednesday, after which time he would resign his state representative seat. Crighton will serve out the remainder of McGee’s term, which means he’ll be back on the campaign trail this fall.
“I want to thank all the voters who came out,” Crighton said. “Obviously it’s an unusual time of year to have an election.”
Crighton, who also thanked all the volunteers who helped with the campaign, said people have had a lot on their plate lately. They just had to contend with a big storm and another one was expected for later in the week.
“There have been a lot other things to focus on but people came out and I appreciate it,” he said.
Crighton, who had been serving as state representative for the 11th Essex District (West Lynn/Nahant), ran unopposed in both the primary and the final election. He received 2,854 total votes with 1,316 (41 write-ins) coming in Lynn. Lynnfield (175 votes, 14 write-ins); Marblehead (573, 18 write-ins, 21 blanks); Saugus (299, 43 write-ins); Swampscott (286, 11 write-ins, 40 blanks) and Nahant (205, 5 write-ins, 2 blanks) rounded out the count.
“It’s great to see Brendan make it to the state senate seat,” McGee said. “He worked in my office for 9 ½ years. He came in fresh out of college and his talent was apparent immediately. “
McGee said he expects Crighton to move right up the ladder leadership and be one of the strong voices in the senate.
“He’s going to make this district proud,” McGee said
With the special election over, Crighton said it’s time to get down to doing the job. In talking to people during the course of the campaign, he said the three areas he hears about the most are education, transportation and the opioid crisis, with housing and the economy right up there as well.
Crighton’s election to the Senate seat sets off a scramble the 11th Essex District state representative seat he has held since 2015.
Crighton’s ascent through the political ranks has been swift. After graduating from Classical High in 2001, he attended Colby College where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government in 2005. He went on to earn his master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University in 2009.
Crighton, 34, got his first taste of life in the State House when he worked for McGee in the state senator’s office in 2005. He started out as a legislative aide and worked his way up to chief of staff. He continued to work for McGee after being elected Ward 5 City Councilor (2010-2014) and then Lynn City Councilor-at-Large (2014-2016). Crighton made the leap to the state level when he was elected state representative for the 11th Essex District (West Lynn, Nahant) in 2014.