Rep. Garry Cruises to November General Election
DRACUT -- Rep. Colleen Garry cruised to victory against primary challenger Sabrina Heisey, beating the left-leaning challenger with 3,970 votes to Heisey’s 1,438.
Garry will now face off in the general election against Republican Ray Leczynski, a life-long Dracut resident and first-time candidate who will challenge her from the right.
Heisey, a Dracut School Committee member, challenged Garry, who has held office for over two decades, from the left, speaking about causes such as social justice that Garry has been more centrist on.
Heisey spoke about improving voting access, education, and the cost of health care.
Garry said the race was tough, especially as it got testy at times, and thanked her supporters for defending “our seat” in the statehouse as she gave a victory speech at the Lo Kai Restaurant on Lakeview Ave.
“I’m so overwhelmed by the support of the people of Dracut and Tyngsboro, and I’m going to ask them to continue to support me until we get through to the November election,” Garry said. “I’m thrilled they continue to trust me after 24 years, and I will never let them down.”
Heisey met with her supporters less than a block away at Paddy’s Ale House on Lakeview Avenue.
Heisey said she was proud to have run a hard-working campaign and to have knocked on so many doors.
Heisey was one of the first candidates to challenge Garry from the left, but said she doubts her challenge will pull Garry toward more liberal positions.
Instead, she said she hopes her candidacy will inspire others to challenge Garry.
“What I really hope happens is that somebody in this district heard the message and is going to feel inspired to run, because if I can do it with six kids and a full-time job, they can do it too.”
But Garry’s more centrist positions appealed to at least some voters in Dracut.
Robert St. George, of Dracut, said he’s not a fan of Democrats because they typically want to tax too much so they can take people’s money and give it away to others, but he said he nonetheless supports Garry because of her more centrist approach and because of her roots in town.
“She does a lot for the Town of Dracut,” St. George said.
The work Garry does in Dracut even outside of politics was mentioned by several voters, including Christine Paquette.
“I love her,” Paquette said. “She’s all community, and always out there taking care of people.”
Andy Lincoln said he cast his vote for Heisey because she acknowledges and wants to fix issues with structural racism, while Garry has not acknowledged it.
“She cares about the social issues I care about,” Lincoln said.
Sarah Croughwell, who went to the polls with Lincoln, said she supported Heisey in part because of the effort Heisey made to knock on doors around Dracut.
“She made me think she really cared about reaching voters who are our age,” said Croughwell, who, like Lincoln, is 25.
Follow Robert Mills on Twitter @Robert_Mills