Activist state

Lovely faces the challenge of a candidate for the first time in the race for the State Senate | Elections

State Sen. Joan Lovely, D-Salem, faces a challenge in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election from top candidate Kyle Davis.

Lovely, 64, is in her fifth two-year term as state senator for Essex’s Second District, which includes Beverly, Danvers, Peabody and Salem. Topsfield, which was part of the district, will move to the Essex and Middlesex First Senate District in January as part of a redistricting.

Lovely said she was running for re-election because her experience in the state Senate, and as a member of the Salem City Council before that, gave her “a strong foundation to really represent the district.”

“I got into the Senate 10 years ago because of my background as a city councilman, when there’s someone on the other end of the line calling because they need help,” Lovely said. . “That’s what I brought to the office.”

Lovely cited several accomplishments during her time in Beacon Hill, including on issues such as protecting children from sexual abuse, safeguarding the rights of pregnant workers, making it easier for city councils to approve housing projects. affordable and promoting reform of public records to make state government more transparent. She said her role as Deputy Senate Majority Leader and chair of the Joint Committee on Rules puts her in a position to help shape policy and budget priorities.

Lovely said she wanted to continue working on issues such as the housing crisis and climate change. She cited her efforts to secure funding to build the Port of Salem to house a facility to support offshore wind and to create incentives for electric vehicles, solar power and geothermal power.

“These are really big, meaty issues and I have the experience to keep digging in and making progress,” she said.

Davis, a 27-year-old Danvers resident, said he grew up in Lexington in “an amazing blended family” of two mothers, two brothers and two sisters. He said his family includes a mix of cultures, including a grandmother who was an immigrant from Curacao and a Jewish grandfather whose family members were killed in the Holocaust. On his campaign website, he said coming of age as a gay man in a society with so much injustice ‘ignited a passion for equality very early in life’ .

Davis said he was an activist and organizer in Massachusetts on issues including universal health care, reproductive rights and gun violence. He said he would bring a different perspective to the state Senate with his working-class background. He pursued a music career after high school and worked as a Grubhub server and driver. He said he now works as a nonprofit consultant.

“You look at how little working class representation we have, not just in government generally, but in the state legislature,” he said. “Very few people there are affected by minimum wage laws, tipping, classification of drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. I have been personally affected by many issues that affect working class people.

Joan Belle

Residence: Salem

Age: 64

Occupation: lawyer; State Senator for Essex Second District since 2013

Previous term: City Councilor of Salem from 1998 to 2012

Education: Graduated from Salem State University and Massachusetts School of Law

Family: Married to Stephen Lovely; three children, one granddaughter

Kyle Davis

Residence: Danvers

Age: 27 years old

Position: Non-profit consultant

Previous mandate: None

Education: Graduated from Lexington High School

Family: Single

Editor Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.