Comerford to seek third term in Senate


Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2021 6:26:55 PM
Modified: 12/15/2021 6:26:20 PM

NORTHAMPTON — State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, has announced she will run for a third term, this time in a reshaped district that includes 25 communities in Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester counties.

Comerford said this week she would seek the seat in the newly drawn district that retains Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield, Montague and most other communities, but drops South Hadley, Colrain and Whately while gaining Athol, Petersham, Winchendon and Ashburnham.

“This is the greatest honor of my life to do this work, to serve this beautiful district and its people,” Comerford said Wednesday. “I believe everyone should run for office, and no one should take this job for granted.”

So far, Comerford appears to be the only confirmed candidate for the seat, which carries a two-year term and pays $70,536 per year.

In a letter this week to supporters, Comerford described the 2022 election as “a sea change moment” for Massachusetts in which the executive branch and every member of the Legislature will be on the ballot.

“We are emerging from years of grappling with a brutal, global pandemic. And there’s a growing unwillingness to accept the status quo from state government,” Comerford wrote. “This is the moment to transform Beacon Hill.”

First elected in 2018 after winning the Democratic primary as a write-in candidate, Comerford now chairs the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management.

In 2019, state lawmakers passed legislation sponsored in part by Comerford that directed the state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to study the feasibility of restoring passenger rail service from North Adams to Greenfield and Boston. The study was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the first working group meeting is now scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon.

This session, Comerford said she has introduced 78 bills, including “Charlie’s Law,” which would ban video recording and broadcasting while driving. The bill is named after Charlie Braun, a Northampton musician who was killed in October by a driver allegedly engaged in a FaceTime conversation.

If elected to a new term, she said she would prioritize regional economic development, including more equitable school funding, increased access to public transportation, housing production and job creation.

“We have, just, countless assets, and we have a lot of challenges,” Comerford said. “People’s lives are on the line, their well-being, and it’s my job to fight for them.”

Before serving in the state Senate, Comerford worked for several community and advocacy organizations, including the Center for Human Development, the American Friends Service Committee and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. When she announced her run to replace state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, she was a campaign director for the progressive advocacy group

Brian Steele can be reached at


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