Andrew Shepherd narrowly edged out Lynne Archambault in the 1st Middlesex District Republican primary for state representative, based on preliminary results from Tuesday’s election.
Even so, Shepherd wasn’t fully ready to declare victory, and the small margin could lead to a recount. Shepherd bested Archambault by a 2,255-to-2,174 tally across Ashby, Dunstable, Groton, Lunenburg, Pepperell and Townsend.
Reached for comment Wednesday morning, Shepherd was optimistic about the preliminary results.
“With the numbers where they are right now, we do believe we’re on track to be successful. It was hard-fought and we’re ready to go ahead and win in November,” Shepherd said.
Several attempts to reach Archambault Wednesday morning were unsuccessful.
Both Shepherd — a business owner, farmer and former firefighter — and Archambault — also a business owner as well as a parent, teacher and homeowner — were proud of what they were able to accomplish on the campaign. Looking ahead to the Nov. 8 general election, Shepherd said he was ready to do anything and everything to help the people of the 1st Middlesex District.
“Our campaign has been about being accessible, getting ourselves out there and having lived some of those life experiences that people struggle with,” Shepherd said Tuesday outside of the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School. “Having experience on Beacon Hill, but also coming from a firefighting and business background, I can empathize with making some of those difficult decisions — we look forward to continuing our campaign and now we’re a step closer to helping those people.”
“We’ve been here for the district, we’re here to make the area better. We’re going to focus on the local economy, getting resources for our area — we’re going to address the issues that are really important to voters,” he said.
Groton voter Agnes McKinney said she cast her ballot for Shepherd because of his “moderate” temperament and his ability to listen to and work with others, regardless of their political affiliation.
“(Shepherd) has a much more of a moderate mentality, but the fact that he’s taken the time to try and understand others’ point of view, I think that’s what we need,” McKinney said outside of the GDRMS. “We need someone that’s going to think about the entire community, Democrat or Republican — someone that’s going to make thoughtful decisions and knows how to listen, how to get along with and work with other people.”
“If you get someone that’s volatile, someone that’s destructive or just accusatory, that’s going to be detrimental to all parties. The whole country has seen that nastiness and we want something different,” she said.
Melissa Johnson of Dunstable called Shepherd “brilliant” and “honest,” while Eddie Hastings, also of Dunstable, said he was more “localized” and “focused on the local issues” when compared to Archambault.
Outside the Dunstable Free Public Library, resident Bill Burg said Shepherd was “just a good man for the job.”
“He and his family have always done a lot of work for the community, charity-wise and just helping out,” Burg said. “I know Andrew is just an honest man who’s going to do his best to represent us, our district and our interests.”
Johnson, Hastings and Burg each said Shepherd’s “down to Earth” personality played a part in their vote.
“Not to ding Lynne (Archambault), but she’s very polished — Andrew, he’s is a just a regular guy, a firefighter, a farmer, just very grounded and down to Earth,” Burg said.
Archambault thanked those that supported her and was proud of the fact that she stayed true to herself throughout her campaign.
“We’ve worked hard and, through everything, I’ve stayed true to myself, my issues and kept my integrity,” Archambault said Tuesday outside of the Nissitissit Middle School. “I stayed honest to who I am — and I believe that that’s the most important thing.”
Shepherd took Ashby, Lunenburg and Townsend by tallies of 228 to 110, 429 to 296 and 827 to 324, respectively. Archambault led in Dunstable, Groton and Pepperell by margins of 267 to 81, 294 to 280 and 883 to 410, respectively.
With the nomination secured, Shepherd is slated to face the seat’s Democratic nominee, Margaret Scarsdale, in the general election this November.
Upon hearing the news of the preliminary results, Scarsdale said she was looking forward to facing Shepherd come November.
“I congratulate Andrew on his victory in the Republican primary and I welcome the opportunity to showcase for voters the substantial differences between our campaigns on the issues and in experience in the coming two months,” Scarsdale said.