While they’re saying goodbye to Susan Fargo, the Democrats aren’t ready to let go of her seat in the state Senate.
Lexington Democrat Mike Barrett, after outlasting four challengers from his own party in the primary, has defeated Sandi Martinez, a Republican from Chelmsford, to claim the Third Middlesex District seat .
“I’m excited about returning to the Senate,” said Barrett, who was a state Senator from Cambridge from 1987 until a failed bid for governor in 1994. “Eighteen years older, probably not 18 years wiser, but I think smarter and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Third Middlesex District represents Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham and Weston, as well as parts of Lexington and Sudbury.
While Barrett had four opponents in the primary, this was the fourth crack at the Third Middlesex for Martinez, who failed to unseat Fargo in the last three elections.
The candidates differed sharply on a number of fronts, and on social issues in particular. And Barrett believes that’s an area where he won a lot of voters.
“No question the economy is first, but private rights and social issues make a difference,” he said. “I think we got a strong vote from pro choice women … and men. I think she wanted to pretend the social issues didn’t exist.”
Since leaving state politics Barrett has worked in healthcare on information technology, he expects and that foundation will help him in his return to Beacon Hill.
“I hope to focus on healthcare, education and environmental protection,” said Barrett. “Climate change is the 800-pound gorilla in the room and it has to be acknowledged. We have to put together a state plan. We can’t wait for Washington to act.”