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John Barrett Wins Special Election For Mass. House Seat

John Barrett (left) poses for a photo with a supporter after winning a special election for state representative.
Adam Frenier
John Barrett (left) poses for a photo with a supporter after winning a special election for state representative.

John Barrett is officially back in politics. The former long-time Democratic mayor of North Adams beat Republican Christine Canning to win a special election for state representative in northern Berkshire County.

Barrett swept all nine communities in the district, including Adams, North Adams and Williamstown.

Barrett will serve out the final year of the late Gailanne Cariddi's term. Barrett said Cariddi, who died from cancer in June, was on his mind Election Day.

"I looked at a saying she had in her office. She said, 'Do as good as you can for as long as you can,'" Barrett said Tuesday night. "That was my motivating factor of getting into this race. Somebody said, 'Well geez, aren't you a little old to be doing some of this stuff?' I said, 'Not according to Gail Carridi.'"

Barrett, 70, served as mayor of North Adams for 26 years, through 2009.

During his campaign, he said some of his priorities include economic development and job creation for the district, as well as making sure northern Berkshire County isn't forgotten by lawmakers on Beacon Hill when it comes to state funding and other areas.

According to the secretary of state's office, Barrett will be sworn in once the results are officially certified, which will take place in the next few weeks.

Barrett said he plans to run for a full two-year term in 2018.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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