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Letter: Challenging Kulik

As a longtime Franklin County resident and participant in local politics, I write in response to Dylan Korpita’s announcement of his candidacy as a Republican to replace state Rep. Steve Kulik, a Democrat. While I admire Mr. Korpita’s willingness to run for office, he fails to offer, even at this early stage, any compelling reason for his candidacy, other than his own ambition. Having grown up in Franklin County, Mr. Korpita went to Princeton and worked on Wall Street for a dozen years. Now, as he writes, he “… moved back to Deerfield last year and have enjoyed reconnecting with the people and communities of this area, while starting to learn about the issues facing our towns and state.”

For 16 of the 18 years I’ve lived in Franklin County, my town, Wendell, was represented by Steve Kulik, which only changed through re-districting in 2012. Steve is a smart, thoughtful, dedicated public servant and even though he no longer represents my town, he continues to represent the progressive, community-minded values in which I, and most of those in Steve’s current district, believe. That’s why he keeps getting re-elected, and that’s why he should be re-elected again this coming November.

It remains to be seen what Mr. Korpita means when he describes himself as “socially progressive and fiscally responsible Republican,” but it’s instructive to note that this is standard tea party rhetoric. It’s admirable for Mr. Korpita to want “to learn about the issues facing our town and state,” but that desire alone does not qualify him to represent the people of the 1st Franklin, for whom the stakes are simply too high. “Sink or swim” Wall Street values are out of place in the communities of western Mass., and that is a reality Mr. Korpita will come to understand.

BEN SCHWARTZ

Wendell

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