Cariddi Clear Winner in 1st District
Gailanne Cariddi is hugged by supporters at Petrino's Cafe after winning the 1st Berkshire District.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Gailanne Cariddi emerged as the winner in the 1st District, the first new state representative in 24 years and the first woman to occupy the seat. Although a primary election, there's no Republican running so the Democratic winner will coast to victory in November.
The longtime North Adams city councilor was surrounded by well-wishers at Petrino's Cafe on Main Street in North Adams as numbers continued to flow in from the district's hilltowns.
"I'm sure that it really hasn't hit me yet because it's so wonderful for so many voters to come out and support me," said Cariddi. "I really want to thank all the voters because without all of them, and the team we put together to run this election, we wouldn't be this happy right now."
The city native felt she was the leading candidate and her father was sure. He wasn't excited Tuesday, she said, "he said he knew I was going to win."
"Right along I felt I was the leading candidate but I told everyone I had two opponents from Adams nipping at my heels so I had to keep going," said Cariddi, referring to House hopefuls David Bisssaillon and Edward MacDonald.
Cariddi easily took North Adams, pulling 1,710 votes to Bissaillon's 575 and MacDonald's 379. She came in second in Adams, no surprise, with Bissaillon sweeping the town with 1,328 votes; Cariddi took 356 and MacDonald 261. It was in Williamstown, however, that Cariddi pulled far enough ahead that it would have been tough to catch her. She pulverized both men with 70 percent of the vote. Some 1,028 ballots were cast for Cariddi in the Purple Valley compared to 293 for Bissaillon and 164 for MacDonald.
She continued to roll up the smaller towns, gaining 221 votes in Clarksburg (Bissaillon, 120; MacDonald, 48) out of the 425 votes cast, and took Charlemont with 84 votes.
Cariddi believed her stances on the economy, jobs, community development, green initiatives, agriculture, small business, tourism and arts and culture put her over the top.
"They want somebody with a positive attitude who's going to keep moving our district forward," she said. "I think all of those things resonated with the voters. I talked about them time and time again. People wanted issues; I gave them issues."
The party was winding down at the Bounti-Fare in Adams for David Bissaillon. The former Berkshire Chamber president said he didn't want his supporters to leave sad.
"The people who worked for me, who supported me, they were my heroes. I'm grateful for what they've done," he said.
David Bissaillon talks with a supporter at the Bounti-Fare after losing his first run for office.
He wasn't ready to speculate on if he'd make another try at elected office — "not tonight" — and planned to take a breather and get back to work at Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency.
"Unfortunately, my message didn't resonate with the voters," Bissaillon said. "We ran a clean campaign and I learned a lot. .... I wish Gail all the best. It's a great victory for her."
Edward MacDonald, who had been confident of a surge on Sunday, had already closed up his gathering at the American Legion in North Adams before we got there. The Chester town administrator had worked hard but couldn't catch Cariddi nor capture his hometown of Adams.
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Letter: Choose MacDonald
To the Editor:
Ed MacDonald is running for state representative, and I am expressing my support. I have had the opportunity to work with Ed for almost a year now, and we continue to work on the interests of the region, town, community and my department today.
As a Chief of Police, part of my responsibility is to seek additional sources of funding to support the operation and function of my department. Through Ed MacDonald’s knowledge of the legislative process, his contacts and the relationships he has established over the years, I was provided advice on whom to ask with my questions. This opened the doors to resources and grant opportunities that I can directly attribute to Ed’s professional networking. To me, this was proof that Ed already has a great working relationship with the other members of the Legislature.
One of the characteristics Ed possesses is an honest, thoughtful approach to addressing an issue or problem. Liking to meet a challenge head on, I have found Ed to do his research and give a sound opinion. I have observed Ed follow his beliefs, make some hard choices and still remain on track to the larger purpose without losing sight along the way.
It has been a pleasure working with Ed MacDonald. I believe that with Ed’s dedication and commitment, he will be an excellent state representative, and therefore I fully endorse his candidacy.
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Letter: MacDonald Cares About the Community
To the Editor:
I am writing to express my support for Ed MacDonald, who is running for the position of state representative from the First Berkshire District. Mr. MacDonald is currently the town administrator in the community of Chester, and as the agent for the Board of Health, I have had the pleasure of working with Ed on many occasions. I have always found him to be professional, friendly and knowledgeable.
In the town of Chester, Ed works for the people. He makes it a point to get to know the residents as individuals. He always looks toward the best interests of the town and works to make those interests become reality. His background in urban planning has proven to be an asset to the town, giving him the knowledge to find ways to create jobs, to help the taxpayers put their money to work in the best, most efficient way, and to get things done correctly.
While Ed will certainly be missed as town administrator, his election to the position of state representative of the 1st Berkshire District will show you what you've been missing in a representative. He will for you and your community – because it's his community too.
The writer is health agent for the Town of Chester.
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Letter: MacDonald Will Get the Job Done
To the Editor:
As chairman of the Chester Board of Selectmen, I had the pleasure of getting to know Ed MacDonald and working with him for over the past year. I first met Ed when the Board of Selectmen was in the process of hiring a town administrator last year at a time of chaos in the Town Hall and significant financial deficits due to cuts in local aid. We chose him because of the breadth and depth of his experience in municipal government that would be instrumental in getting our town back on its feet.
The qualities I like most about Ed was his commitment and dedication to our town and its citizens, the valuable help to the selectboard in closing a large budget deficit while maintaining all services in the FY10 budget, and the fact that he is not afraid to "roll up his sleeves" to get the job done!
I know in my heart that, if elected as your state representative, Ed will most certainly bring these same qualities to his district. He will be the kind of representative we need in Boston, dedicated to his constituents and their quality of life but cognizant of the financial difficulties the people and the state face. He will offer viable solutions to our state’s budget woes while working with his Western Mass. peers to ensure that the state’s budget is equitable. Most importantly, he will work tirelessly on your behalf and get the job done!
On Sept. 14, please vote for Ed MacDonald as your Massachusetts state representative!
Michael W. Crochiere
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'Planet Valenti' Endorses MacDonald
ADAMS, Mass. — Dan Valenti, a local columnist and commentator, recently endorsed Ed MacDonald for state representative from the 1st Berkshire District in "Planet Valenti," a column he writes for The Pittsfield Gazette.
In his column, Valenti writes:
| ... Ed MacDonald, David Bissaillon and Gail Cariddi. There are no Republican candidates. The victor moves unopposed to November, so this is the de facto finale. The winner will have Dan Bosley's large muck boots to fill.
MacDonald, it seems, won't shy away from the inevitable tough votes ahead. His decisions to cut the budget in Adams cost him a post on the select board. You have to admire that kind of political spine.
Cariddi, a 20-year veteran of the North Adams City Council, talks about the tough cuts needed to address the state's massive debt. The Planet asked her how this squares with her recent kissy vote for Mayor Dick Alcombright's budget, which places a whopping 10 percent increase on the backs of already bedraggled taxpayers.
'How can the taxpayers trust you?' we asked. She had no answer. Cariddi, carumba.
Bissaillon made lots of friends in his years at the Chamber of Commerce, and The Planet likes his private-sector instincts. However, he's a go-along-to-get-along guy, everybody's friend, and analyzes things to death. It's hard to see him making the right kind of noise in Boston.
The Planet endorses MacDonald to overturn benches on Beacon Hill.
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