Endorsements made in state Senate race



For the Recorder
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Two prominent politicians have endorsed Jo Comerford’s quest for the Democratic Party nomination for the state Senate’s Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan and former Northampton mayor Clare Higgins announced their support for Comerford from the steps of the old Hampshire County Courthouse on Tuesday.

Comerford, a Northampton resident and a former director at MoveOn.org, is running a write-in campaign for the position left vacant when former Sen. Stanley Rosenberg resigned earlier this year.

Higgins and Sullivan praised Comerford’s experience, and said she would be able to effectively advocate for the district.

“There’s one candidate in this pool of Senate candidates that’s going to be able to fight for us from day one, and that’s Jo Comerford,” Sullivan said.

Higgins and Sullivan also cited the work she’d done in the area over the course of her career.

“I know what she’s done for real people in this district,” said Sullivan.

“That’s what Jo’s been doing her entire life,” said Higgins. “Trying to figure out how to help people make their lives better.”

Higgins also said that write-in a candidate is a “time honored” way of getting into office, noting that her grandmother wrote in Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas for president in the 1930s.

“It is an incredible honor,” said Comerford, on the endorsements.

Comerford said that Higgins has been an inspiration for many years, and that she hopes to work with her on issues such as food security and early childhood education. She also said she wants to work with Sullivan to tackle the opioid crisis.

“I want to work on behalf of the 24 communities in Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester County (in the district),” Comerford said.

Comerford is one of six candidates running in the Democratic primary for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District. Of these candidates only educator and women’s rights advocate Chelsea Kline of Northampton is on the ballot. The other four write-in candidates are Northampton City Council President Ryan O’Donnell, Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services Director Steven Connor, attorney David J. Murphy of Amherst and University of Massachusetts Amherst employee David Morin of Amherst.

Teachers federation supports Kline

The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts has endorsed Chelsea Kline in her race for the Democratic nomination for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District in the state Senate.

“Chelsea Kline understands that our students can succeed if they are given the resources they deserve. She shares our aspirational vision for fully-funded schools and libraries, debt-free public college, and an education system that focuses on true learning, not just testing,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos, in a release sent out by the Kline campaign.

“AFT Massachusetts has been a leader in advocating for our public schools, and in protecting the rights of workers across Massachusetts,” said Kline, in the same release. “I’m proud to have their support, and to work with them as we fight to end high-stakes testing, focus on the whole child, empower educators, invest in our public schools, and support every child.”

At 25,000 members, AFT Massachusetts is the first statewide union to give an endorsement in the race. The endorsement was awarded by the union’s executive board, which the membership elects.

The primary will take place on Sept. 4.