Northampton Democrat to challenge Rosenberg for Senate seat

  • Northampton Democrat Chelsea Sunday Kline has announced she will run against incumbent senator and former Senate president Stan Rosenberg for the Hampshire, Franklin, & Worcester District state Senate seat. Submitted Photo—

  • Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

For the Recorder
Published: 3/28/2018 8:18:42 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Democrat Chelsea Kline has announced that she will challenge incumbent Sen. Stan Rosenberg for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District seat he has held since 1991.

Kline, who lives in Northampton with her husband Greg and three children, ages 21, 10 and 4, becomes the first candidate to contest the Senate seat in the Democratic primary. She is a graduate of Smith College and earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School.

“I’m running for Senate to be a voice for western Massachusetts and a champion of working families, local businesses and marginalized communities,” Kline said in a statement. “As an organizer, activist, mother and educational leader, I will work tirelessly in the Senate to promote social justice, end homelessness and build a government that protects, supports and cares for all residents.”

Efforts to contact Kline were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Kline’s statement describes her as a member of the Hampshire and Franklin County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, a director of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and member of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact advisory council.

Kline leads academic and leadership programs at Bay Path University in the American Women’s College, and began directing the Bay Path University Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders program for adult students in 2013, according to the Longmeadow university’s website. She is also the director of the leadership and organizational studies program and director of arts and humanities at Bay Path.

She focuses on supporting adult women and their development as nontraditional college students and learners and strives to mentor and champion people of all ages, genders and backgrounds, according to her statement.

Describing herself as a former teen mother, Kline pledged to defend services for the vulnerable and those in poverty.

“As your senator, I will channel my activism and my compassion for all people to take on the defining social challenges of our time,” she stated.

Kline also serves as a community religious adviser for Jewish students at her alma mater, Smith College.

Rosenberg, who first served in the Massachusetts House from 1987-91, was elected Senate president in 2015. He held that position until December 2017, when he was forced to step down for an independent ethics investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against his husband, Bryon Hefner, and allegations that Hefner had influence over Senate affairs.

“Competition is good for democracy. It’s good when voters have choices,” Rosenberg said of Kline’s announcement. “I look forward to running on my record.”

The Hampshire, Franklin & Worcester District encompasses 24 communities, including Northampton, Amherst, Deerfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Sunderland and Whately.

The Democratic primary will be held Sept. 4. No other challengers to Rosenberg have been announced as yet.

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