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Political Notebook, August 11, 2018


Saturday, August 11, 2018
Blais picks up Scibak endorsement

Natalie Blais, one of seven Democrats seeking the 1st Franklin House seat being left by Rep. Stephen Kulik, has won the support of state Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley.

“If you would have told me a year or two ago that I would be leaving the Legislature along with Representative Kulik and Senator (Stan) Rosenberg, I would not have believed you,” wrote Scibak in his endorsement. “I certainly would not have believed that my dear friend and colleague Representative (Peter) Kocot would have left us because he was a mountain of a man — both literally and figuratively. But here we are today, having lost about 100 years of collective experience in the state Legislature. We can begin to overcome that loss with the election of Natalie Blais as state representative.”

The 16-year veteran legislator added, “I know what it takes to get the job done. I can tell you that there will be a tremendous learning curve for whoever wins this seat. This fall, more than any other time, we must elect a candidate who clearly understands, from day one, the way local, state and federal government works. This year, we cannot afford to elect someone who will be learning the job as they go. That’s why I’m with Natalie 100 percent.”

Blais, as executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, “understands the role that our small businesses play in fueling the local economy,” he added. “Her efforts to position the region as the outdoor recreation hub of our state will not only improve health outcomes but also support the economies of our small towns.”

Kline endorsements

Senate candidate Chelsea Kline has won endorsements from Tim Dolan, a Greenfield Town Councilor, and Alexandre Schwanz, an Orange School Committee member.

“Chelsea Kline has made clear that she will be an active participant in all of the communities in our district, including in Franklin County,” said Councilor Tim Dolan. “She is an impassioned advocate for public education, Medicare for All, and environmental protection, and will make us proud to have her representing us in the Senate.”

“Our educational system faces many challenges, in Orange and throughout this district,” said Schwanz. “With a budget heavily dependent on state funds, we need a champion like Chelsea on Beacon Hill with the courage and commitment to achieve full funding for public education. Educated at Greenfield Community College, Smith College, and Harvard Divinity School, Chelsea is a higher education leader who knows what it’s like to struggle — who knows what can happen when key programs aren’t appropriately funded. After the Legislature punted once again on fully funding our public schools, I am proud to join my voice with hers and demand more from Beacon Hill for our schools and for western Massachusetts.”

Shutesbury event brings in candidates

Senate Candidates for the Franklin, Hampshire and Worcester seat, for the 1st and 2nd Franklin as well as 3rd Hampshire House seats are expected to attend an end-of-the summer multitown Democratic picnic Aug. 26 from 3 to 5pm at Shutesbury Athletic Club.

In addition to the meet and greet, the picnic will honor former Senate President and long-time state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst and Rep. Stephen Kulik of 1st Franklin for years of service.

The event is co-sponsored by the town Democratic committees of Amherst, Leverett, New Salem, Pelham, Shutesbury, Sunderland and Wendell.

All are welcome at the Shutesbury Athletic Club, 282 Wendell Road. The picnic will be held in the shelter behind the club.

Kline visits with North Quabbin voters

Democratic state Senate candidate Chelsea Kline met recently with North Quabbin voters, listening to concerns and ideas about the region’s needs and about investing in it.

Kline said, “There is too much pain in our district, and families need and deserve more,” and discussed reinvesting in the social safety net and drawing public and private investments to the region.

She toured the Orange Innovation Center and committed to visiting the region frequently if elected, acknowledging that many parts of the Senate district feel forgotten.

Kline is one of four Democratic candidates running for Senate seat in the 24-town district that includes Bernardston, Colrain, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell and Whately in Franklin County.