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Newcomer to challenge Andrews

ORANGE — A fourth-generation Orange native is seeking election as state representative for the 2nd Franklin District seat.

Karen Anderson, 45, is challenging two-term state Rep. Denise Andrews for the district that represents Athol and Orange and includes Gill, Erving, Warwick, New Salem, Wendell, Royalston, Phillipston, Templeton, Petersham and part of Belchertown.

Anderson is holding a campaign kickoff on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at her home at 75 East Main St.

Democrat Andrews, also an Orange native and former Procter & Gamble executive, is seeking a third two-year term.

Anderson is the second Republican challenger for the seat. Republican Susannah Whipps Lee, an Athol selectman, is also running for election. She challenged Andrews last November in a close election.

A Republican primary will be held Sept. 9. The general election is Nov. 4.

Anderson is a newcomer to the state political arena.

She is a mother of six children, ranging in ages from 3 to 24 years old.

Over the past 25 years, Anderson has taught elementary school children and served on the Board of Education at the North Congregational Church of New Salem. She also worked with the Franklin County Home Care Corp., the Gardner Visiting Nurse Association and Catholic Charities.

According to her website, her main issues include improving the effectiveness of the state Department of Children and Families system, bringing jobs to the area and lowering taxes.

“For too long the needs of our district have been ignored by the people who are supposed to be representing us on Beacon Hill,” Anderson said in a statement. “We need someone who will be more responsible to the district’s needs. I will tirelessly work to protect our children. I will work to create an economic environment that welcomes job creation in our district ... I will work to reduce our taxes to the minimum level essential for good government.”

Attempts to reach Anderson for comment were unsuccessful at press time.

The Anderson family is active in a number of local organizations in Orange. Her husband, Robert, serves on the Finance Committee for Orange.

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