STATE SENATE RACE: Debate Moderator, Sal DeFranco Campaign Criticize Sen. Finegold For Pulling Out Of Debate

HAVERHILL, MA — Wilmington will soon be getting a new State Senator as longtime State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) was re-districted out of town.

Wilmington now falls within the newly redrawn Second Essex and Middlesex district, which also consists of Amesbury, Andover, Haverhill, Merrimac, North Andover and Tewksbury.

Incumbent Barry Finegold (D-Andover) is running against Republican challenger Sal DeFranco (R-Haverhill) in the State Election this Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

A debate between the two was reportedly scheduled for Thursday, November 3, 2022 on Haverhill Community Television’s “Point of Reference” TV program, with Tim Coco of WHAV Radio News, Tracy Rauh of The Eagle Tribune/Haverhill Gazette and Lindsay Paris of the Haverhill Journal to serve as panelists.

According to debate moderator and Haverhill Community Media Board Member Frank Novak, Finegold’s campaign backed out of the debate on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

“I am disappointed to say the least,” Novak wrote in an email shared with Wilmington Apple. “I wish both candidates well in their election campaigns but can’t help but think that the biggest losers in this race, with the debate not going forward, are the voters, the people that have a right to know how the candidates stand on issues by taking an hour out of their day answer questions from professionals in the news media and not just relying upon what the candidates tell you. That’s a one way street and lacks accountability.”

Sal DeFranco’s campaign quickly issued a press release after news of the cancelled debate broke.

“It is an outrage that Sen. Finegold is dodging the voters by refusing to participate in a debate,” said DeFranco, a Navy SEAL and small business owner. “Sen. Finegold cast pivotal votes to raise the sales tax, regulate home heating that drives up costs for families, and give licenses to illegal immigrants. Now, he’s choosing to hide from the voters.”

“Throughout this entire campaign, I have made it clear – I’m fighting for working families. That
means lower taxes, safe communities, and making Massachusetts more affordable,” DeFranco continued. “The voters deserve answers. I will debate Sen. Finegold anywhere, anytime.”

The Finegold campaign did not respond to comment for the article.

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