Whately selectman considers lt. gov. run

WHATELY — Selectman Jonathan Edwards is exploring a run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat.

It would be the longtime selectman’s first time running for state office.

Edwards doesn’t have an official campaign set up yet nor has he decided whether he will run for state office, but the Democrat said he is “looking very seriously at it.” Edwards said he will make an announcement soon.

He said he has spent the past few months talking to several political movers and shakers to get a sense of what type of support he’d have if he did make a run.

So far, Edwards said, he has received a positive reaction from people.

If he decides to run and wins, Edwards said he’d work to build collaboration across the 351 cities and towns in the commonwealth to improve services.

“The office of lieutenant governor is the office that should be the voice and ears of the cities and towns of Massachusetts,” Edwards said. “The lieutenant governor is in a unique situation to really help cities and towns tackle the challenges they face.”

As a four-term selectman with a background in business, energy and regional partnerships, Edwards said he can bring a valuable skill set to the table.

Edwards is co-founder of SmartPower, a national nonprofit marketing firm that promotes clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. From 2002 to 2012, he telecommuted to the Washington, D.C. offices of SmartPower.

Edwards now runs Pioneering Strategies, based out of his Whately home. The marketing firm also promotes renewable energy.

Edwards has served on the Whately Board of Selectmen since 2004.

In 1991, Edwards worked on former Congressman John Olver’s campaign. In 1992, he worked on the presidential election campaign of Paul Tsongas, a former U.S. senator.

As a potential candidate from western Massachusetts, Edwards said he would have “the distinct privilege of introducing western Massachusetts to other parts of the state.”

“By working together, this state can continue to expand its economy, fight for environmental justice and create communities where people can live, work and play where they want,” Edwards said.

The Democratic primary for the lieutenant governor is next September.

He’d run independently from the candidates for governor.

After Jan. 1, nomination papers will be released, Edwards said. Candidates need to gain 10,000 signatures and receive 15 percent of the vote at the state Democratic convention to get their name on the primary ballot.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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