By Joe Durwin On: 08:30PM / Monday October 17, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield voters in the 3rd Berkshire District will once again go to the polls on Tuesday to choose their next state representative in what has been a passionately contested 4-way race prompted by the resignation of Christopher Esperanzo from the seat this past summer.
As candidates make their final push to get out the vote, individual and organizational supporters have been vocal in announcing their hopes for the winner.
On Sunday, The Berkshire Eagle announced its endorsement of Democratic nominee Tricia Farley-Bouvier for the seat, in contrast to last November when the publication chose not to endorse a candidate in the race between Speranzo, the re-elected incumbent, and the paper's former editor, Mark Miller.
iBerkshires.com has not publicly endorsed any candidate in this race, but has instead collected a list of endorsements received by each candidate.
Republican Mark Jester recently received the endorsement of New Jobs for Massachusetts, a newly formed political advocacy group based in Boxborough. A self-described avid sportsmen, Jester has also received the endorsements of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Political Action Committee, Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, National Rifle Association, Berkshire County League of Sportsmen Clubs (23 clubs and 3,000-plus members), Pittsfield Sportsmen's Club and Lenox Sportsmen's Club.
Green-Rainbow Party candidate Miller's campaign has garnered a perhaps surprising amount of support among labor unions such as Massachusetts Nurses Association and United Auto Workers, which have traditionally favored Democratic candidates. Other major organizations include Mass Alliance, a statewide coalition of progressive organizations and action groups, Planned Parenthood, and Clean Water Action. While the growing Occupy Berkshire movement kicked off just over a week ago has not officially endorsed any candidate, vocal support for Miller's candidacy was expressed by many participants at their recent rallies, and Miller was seen in attendance at their Lenox rally at Town Hall.
Independent candidate Pam Malumphy told iBerkshires "of the many endorsement questionnaires that were sent to me, I only filled out NARAL's [National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League]. What I've really focused on is going door-to-door and connecting with voters and great volunteers in this community." Malumphy cited as supporters City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo (who has run radio ads supporting Malumphy's campaign), Adam Hersch of Cavalier Management, Rich Vinette, executive director of Lee Development Corp., former Berkshire Chamber Chairwoman June-Roy Martin, and former City Solicitor Kathleen Degnan.
Farley-Bouvier is a favorite of many local and regional Democrats including Mayor James Ruberto (who hired her as his public affairs aide and then promoted her to acting director of administrative services), Rep. Benjamin B. Downing, Rep. Paul Mark, and Gov. Deval Patrick, who was in attendance at a Friday fundraiser held for her at Itam Lodge. Her campaign also offered the following names of local businesspeople and personalities who've publicly endorsed her run: Council President Gerald Lee, former Mayor Kit Dobelle, Tom Geary, Jeanne Massimiano, Carole Siegel, Shirley Edgerton, Mary O'Brien, Mary Rentz and Miguel Gomez. Farley-Bouvier also received the endorsement of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, who had previously endorsed candidate Peter White in the primary.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday for all precincts voting in the special election. A list of polling locations can be found here and on the Election 2011 blog. (Note: Precincts B in both Wards 1 and 5 are in the 4th District.)
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The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.
Absentee ballots are available at town and city clerk offices until noon on June 24.