Worthington Democrat announces run for Kulik’s seat

  • Rep. Steve Kulik, who has said he will not seek re-election, at a meeting in 2015. RECORDER FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

For The Recorder
Monday, February 26, 2018

WORTHINGTON — The chairman of the Worthington Democratic Town Committee announced his run Monday for the 1st Franklin District seat in the House.

Casey Pease is the third person to announce a run for the seat after state Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, said he would not seek re-election this year.

“Rep. Kulik has been phenomenal for our district and it’s sad to see him go,” Pease said. “But now is a great time for more young people to get involved.”

Two other Democrats are running for the seat — Natalie M. Blais, of Sunderland, the executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and Kate Albright-Hanna, of Huntington, an Emmy-award winning journalist.

The 1st Franklin District covers 19 towns in Franklin and Hampshire counties as well as the town of Chester in Hampden County.

Pease was the youngest paid staff member on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign as a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“Now, more than ever, we need more young people to get involved,” he said.

Pease became chairman of the Worthington Democratic Town Committee in 2016.

Pease credits his early interest in civics to his grandmother, who he said was the first woman to be named to Worthington’s Selectboard, on which she served for 25 years. She spent many of those years serving alongside a young Kulik, until he was elected to his seat in the House in 1993.

“I was raised by my community and inspired by my grandmother and other community leaders,” Pease said. “I can’t say enough about how tremendous Rep. Kulik has been for the 1st District.”

Western Massachusetts will have new leadership in the House next year. In addition to Kulik’s seat, Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, who has been a state representative for 16 years, also announced he would not seek re-election to the 2nd Hampshire District this year, and state Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton, died last week. Kocot had been elected to the House in 2002 was serving the 1st Hampshire District at the time of his death.