1992 was a presidential election year. The Bill Clinton-Al Gore ticket defeated George Bush and Dan Quayle nationally, in Massachusetts (1,318,662 to 805,049), and in Lowell (14,492 to 12,653). This election was also noteworthy in Lowell because Paul Tsongas was a serious candidate who challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination early on. The field of Democratic candidates appearing on the March 10 state presidential primary included Tsongas, Clinton, Ralph Nader, Lyndon LaRouche, Jerry Brown, Tom Harkin, Larry Agran, Eugene McCarthy and Bob Kerrey. Although George Bush was running for reelection, he was challenged in the Republican primary by Pat Buchanan and David Duke.
In the Fifth Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Chet Atkins was challenged (and defeated) by Marty Meehan. Meehan received 50,300 votes to 26,855 for Atkins. In the Republican primary, Paul Cronin defeated Michael Conway, 11,545 to 10,249. In the general election, Meehan defeated Cronin, 133,844 to 96,206.
For the office of Governors Councillor, incumbent Bob Kennedy of Lowell was challenged by Michael O’Halloran in the Democratic primary but Kennedy won, 39,255 to 26,647. In the general election, Kennedy defeated Lowell Republican Vincent McLaughlin, 193,842 to 106,832.
The First Middlesex State Senate seat was up for grabs after Republican incumbent Nancy Achin Sullivan announced that she would not seek reelection. Lowell’s Dan Leahy prevailed in a four candidate field, receiving 9612 votes to former State Senator Phil Shea’s 6401, Frank Gorman’s 4900 and Buddy Flynn’s 2430. In the general election, Leahy defeated Republican Mary Burns, 35,932 to 22,726. This was the last election that had Dracut as part of the First Middlesex District which consisted of Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley and Tyngsborough.
The Second Middlesex and Essex District (Andover, Billerica, Lawrence and Tewksbury) also had an open seat after the retirement of Patricia McGovern. John O’Brien of Andover won the Democratic Primary, receiving 7669 votes to Billerica’s Mike McLaughlin Jr’s 4712, Lawrence’s William Wall’s 3732, and Lawrence’s Paul Lambert’s 1764. In the Republican Primary, Tewksbury’s Jay Gaffney defeated Billerica’s Brion Cangiamila, 2924 to 2265. O’brien defeated Gaffney, 32,340 to 27,383 in the general election.
In the Seventeenth Middlesex District (then consisting of Dracut and part of Lowell), Democratic incumbent John Cox defeated Republican Costas Panagopoulos, 11,269 to 6,896. In the Eighteenth Middlesex District, Ed LeLacheur defeated Republican Roy Nagle, 7655 to 3829. In the Nineteenth Middlesex District, Lowell School Committee member Steve Panagiotakos challenged incumbent Susan Rourke in the Democratic Primary. Panagiotakos won, 3657 to 2421. In the general election, Panagiotakos defeated Tim Golden, 9331 to 2767.
In Middlesex County races, incumbent Sheriff John McGonigle defeated Republican Michael Dever of Woburn, 381,492 to 203,840. In the Democratic Primary, six candidates sought the two available nominations. The winners were Ed Kennedy of Lowell (73,1010 votes) and Tom Larkin of Bedford (54,444 votes). Trailing them were Adelle Schwalberg of Natick (31,988), Dennis Ready of Chelmsford (26,443), Albert Onessimo of Somerville (22,716) and Leonard Golder of Stow (17,258). In the general election, Kennedy (330,230 votes) and Larkin (262,213) prevailing over the two Republican challengers (Edward Weinberg with 177,534 and Richard Mahoney with 137,759).