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Who Was There Before Fred?

State Sen. Fred Berry has represented his hometown of Peabody and the rest of the 2nd Essex District for nearly three decades. Do you know who held that seat before him?

Every week we set out to answer a question submitted by one of our readers as part of our column.

This question is all about time. Have you been paying attention long enough to know the answer?

It feels like Peabody native Fred Berry, , has been in the state Senate since time began...although we know that can't be true. So who was it that represented Peabody and the rest of the Second Essex District before Berry was first elected way back in 1982?

The answer is John King of Danvers, a fellow Democrat who served two terms from 1979-1982. King also served in the state House from 1971-1978 before ascending to the Senate.

And prior to King, the district was represented by late Salem native Kevin Harrington, another Democrat, who spent two decades in the Senate and served as Senate President from 1970-1978. Harrington, 79, died in 2008.

He got his start in the Senate in much the same way Berry did nearly 25 years later. Harrington was first elected to his seat in 1958 after winning a spot on the Salem City Council in 1957; Berry likewise was elected to the Peabody City Council in 1979 and headed over to the Senate after just two terms.

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So there you have it. Send your questions in to peabody@patch.com and we'll get you answer in the next installment of "You Ask...Patch Answers" as soon as we're able.

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