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Candidate Profile: Nathaniel Waring ‘looking forward to changing things’

  • Nathaniel Waring, candidate for 1st Franklin Seat, at Meet and Greet at First Congregational Church in Sunderland on April 13. Recorder FILE/Dan Desrochers



Staff Writer
Friday, August 24, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: Seven Democrats are vying in the Sept. 4 primary for the 1st Franklin District House seat being vacated by 25-year incumbent Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington. There is no Republican candidate. The district includes Ashfield, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland and Whately. This is one in a series of profiles on those candidates.

Nathaniel Waring has made it clear that he is “a different type of candidate” — who has counted himself among “the working poor,” and one who will translate his experience into voicing the concerns of that forgotten population at the Statehouse if elected.

“Equality is one the reasons I’m running,” says Waring, 35, a former cable company technician who became more politically active after trying to get benefits restored for fellow workers at the contracting company where he worked for seven years.

“What we don’t have is poor people advocating for poor people. We have rich people pretending to advocate for poor people. It means bringing together all of the disenfranchised members of our society and helping them to have a voice in the Legislature.”

The 15-year Sunderland resident, who lived in Shutesbury for 15 years, is a student at Greenfield Community College, where he plans to receive an associate’s degree in computer science in December.

Waring describes himself as “a democratic socialist” whose campaign is about “representation of the poor by the poor. It’s time for the have-nots to have a say.”

He said at a recent candidates forum, “I’m looking forward to getting there and really mixing up how politics works in the commonwealth.”

Responding to a question about how he would work to regain clout being lost in the western Massachusetts delegation, he said, “I consider ‘experience equals clout’ in Boston to be one of the biggest problems we have in the commonwealth. ...I don’t think you should have to wait until your ninth term to be important I don’t think it’s a problem that we’re losing 100 years of (collective experience with) people who have been doing the same thing for the last 30 years. I’m looking forward to changing things.”

A candidate who believes progressives need to become more “emboldened,” Waring has said he would seek a “bill of rights” providing for raises in the minimum wage to $20 by 2025 and $25 an hour by 2030. As someone who’s had his children on MassHealth, the state Medicaid program, he has warned, “There are ups and downs to single-payer (health care). There are so many things wrong with MassHealth, and we have to make sure we don’t fall into the same problems with single-payer. Let’s not rush too much into it and pass something that’s not going to work.”

Waring says he’s realized that as a white, middle-class male, he’s led a privileged life.

“I realized if I have all this privilege, then there’s really only one thing to do with that: to help people who don’t have that privilege. … This is about being a representative of the people, and if I look at the legislature of Massachusetts, what I see is a very white, very male, and very rich population. … What really matters to me is that the largest group of people who are unrepresented in the government are the working poor. … You need to stand up and fight for the people who need that.”