State Sen. Barry Finegold announces his candidacy for state treasurer. From left are his father, Mike Finegold, his mother, Sondra Finegold,state Sen. Mike
State Sen. Barry Finegold announces his candidacy for state treasurer. From left are his father, Mike Finegold, his mother, Sondra Finegold,state Sen. Mike Rush, D-West Roxbury, and Finegold's wife, Amy, and two daughters, Ella, left, and Ava. statehouse news service photo

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BOSTON -- After growing up with parents who were both teachers in a middle class family, Mike Finegold said his son, state Sen. Barry Finegold, learned at young age that it takes hard work to go far.

"I had many jobs, so he always saw at least his parents working," Mike Finegold said, who started playing music gigs in Boston and later became a professor at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. "(Barry) knows how hard it is to earn a living."

Tucked away in the suburban Hyde Park section of Boston, the Andover Democrat announced his candidacy for state treasurer Wednesday in the place where he spent the first few years of his life before moving to the Merrimack Valley.

Family, friends, constituents and young students from the area packed the Georgetown Housing Complex Community Center, a subsidized public-housing complex across from where Finegold grew up.

"I think it reflects someone who worked hard every day of my life," Finegold said after his announcement. "I was a true middle-class kid who learned at a young age to work hard and to value every dollar."

The 42-year-old senator who serves Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury has had a long career in politics, first serving as an Andover selectman and then serving seven terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He also co-founded the law firm Dalton & Finegold in Andover.

But his parents, who both reside in Andover as retired teachers, said his work dates to when he was a paperboy at age 10 for The Boston Globe. Finegold unloaded grocery trucks to pay for college and then worked two jobs while attending law school at night.

Finegold's mother, Sondra, said after saving his money to buy baseball cards when he was younger, he eventually sold them to help pay for college.

"He can relate to young families about how hard it is to earn a living and with working parents, he went to daycare," Sondra Finegold said.

She also said education is the family's first priority, noting her son used to listen to her stories when she came home from work as a special-education teacher.

"I think (Barry) got so many of his values from his father being a musician and a college professor and his mother being a special-education teacher," Sondra Finegold said.

Finegold's work ethic and background are values they also teach their three children, his wife, Amy, said.

"This is how we teach our kids to live and work and the idea that he is the embodiment of what he's saying," Amy Finegold said. "It makes me really proud and excited about this next adventure."

Jimmy Cuticchia, a lifelong Andover resident and firefighter who is a friend and constituent, said he has known Finegold for more than 20 years. He described Finegold as driven since his first campaign for political office.

"(Barry) literally knocked on thousands of doors to meet as many people as he possibly could and that is what carried him to his first success as a selectman," Cuticchia said.

Annette Grams, another Andover resident and constituent, met Finegold in 1996 when his mother asked Grams to help stamp envelopes for one of his campaigns. Since then, she said has witnessed all of his other major life events and watched his family grow.

"The thing that I find the most endearing about Barry is he's not your average politician," Grams said.

"I'll get mad at him though because he'll do amazing things for constituents and the community and he never brags about it."

She believes Finegold will make a good treasurer because of his presence in Merrimack Valley and the Statehouse, helping create jobs and bring people together.

Other Democratic candidates include state Rep. Tom Conroy, D-Wayland, and Deborah Goldberg, who ran in the 2006 lieutenant governor race. Mike Heffernan, a Republican business leader, also announced his candidacy this week.

As treasurer, Finegold said he would focus on improving the state's credit rating to build more housing, schools, and bridges. He also wants to strengthen financial-literacy programs to stop home foreclosures, which he has already begun working on with current treasurer, Steve Grossman. 

"I consider myself an example of the Massachusetts dream and I see all young people today and I know they want same thing all of us want and that's opportunity," he said. "I worked hard every day to get where I am and I want the same opportunities for these young people as well."