By Chris Lisinski

Michael Armano, a trained lawyer and firefighter, has joined the race for state Sen. Barbara L'Italien's seat.

Armano is the first Democrat to pull papers officially. A longtime resident of the district, he grew up in Lawrence, where he is now a lieutenant in the Fire Department, and attended UMass Lowell and the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover. He lives in Dracut with his wife, Jill.

In a press release last week announcing his candidacy, Armano said he is motivated to advocate for families.

"Working families deserve someone who will stand up and fight for them at the State House," he said in the release. "I'm running to bring new leadership to the State Senate and to continue my lifelong commitment of serving my community."

The 2nd Essex and Middlesex state Senate district includes Lawrence, Dracut, Andover and Tewksbury.

L'Italien is not seeking re-election to the state Senate because she is running for the 3rd Congressional District. Armano's campaign said he took out nomination papers.

No other Democrats have formally declared they are in the race, but Andover's Barry Finegold, who preceded L'Italien, has said in recent weeks that he is "strongly considering" a run for his old seat.

Joe Espinola, a retired Lowell police officer who represents Dracut on the Greater Lowell Technical High School Committee, is running for the state Senate seat as a Republican.

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