Feb. 26—METHUEN — Former City Councilor Ryan Hamilton has announced his candidacy for state representative for the 15th Essex District, serving portions of Haverhill and Methuen.
The 24-year-old Methuen native was elected to an at-large position on the council in 2017. He served until 2019, when he left public office to join U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan's office in constituent services.
In that role, Hamilton says he helped Methuen and Haverhill residents in need of veterans services, access to healthcare and more.
In 2021 Hamilton joined Mayor Neil Perry at Methuen City Hall as a senior staffer. The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic put the team in a position of focusing on resident access to testing and later vaccines.
"I've seen the positive impacts that a responsible government can have, and I have delivered real results to the families in this district in my supporting roles in the local and federal government," Hamilton said. "But I believe I can do more for the people of Haverhill and Methuen as their state representative."
Hamilton's short-list of critical issues to address includes jobs, the economy, education and public health, especially the mental health crisis perpetuated by the pandemic.
"Mental illness is at the root of so many other critical issues facing our communities, issues such as opioid use, crime, and homelessness," he said. "By creating better access and providing quality services, we can make life better for all of our citizens, especially those who are facing mental health conditions."
The 15th Essex District seat is currently held by Rep. Linda Dean Campbell.