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MacDonald Kicks Off Campaign For State Rep
By: Patrick Ronan On: 03:43PM / Friday June 11, 2010

Ed MacDonald speaks with supporters during Thursday's campaign kickoff dinner at the American Legion in North Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — When Ed MacDonald ran for state representative for 1st Berkshire District 22 years ago, his highest level of education was a general educational development degree.

He heard it from his critics.

"They told me I was a man with an empty suit," MacDonald said. "So I said that when I come back next time, I'll come back with everything."

More than two decades after his defeat, MacDonald, of Adams, has again thrown his hat into the race for state representative. He will square off against David Bissaillon, also of Adams and Gail Cariddi of North Adams in the Democratic primary on Sept. 14, to determine the successor to state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, who served in the position for 12 terms.

MacDonald held his official campaign kickoff event Thursday afternoon at the American Legion. The three-hour dinner was a meet-and-greet opportunity for MacDonald's supporters, with all proceeds going to the American Legion baseball league.

After MacDonald's bid fell short in 1988, he was driven to attain the credentials needed to be a strong candidate. He has since earned an associate's degree from Berkshire Community College, a bachelor's from Emerson College, a master's degree in urban and environmental studies from Rensselaer (N.Y.) Polytechnic Institute and a master of business administration from the University of Massachusetts.

MacDonald is particularly proud of his bachelor's from Emerson, considering the great lengths he went to earn it.

"I drove 68,000 miles," said the former Adams selectman.  "I drove from Adams to Boston every day for two years, and I finished fifth in my class out of 590."

There was a steady stream of residents at MacDonald's campaign kickoff, which lasted from 4 to 7.

MacDonald, who is currently the town administrator of Chester, said his experience in various fields of government separate him from the other candidates.

"I paid my dues. I'm well diversified," he said. "If you sit down and put us all on paper, who has more background, more information of how government works? That's the difference. I can call someone anywhere in the state and get something done."

If elected, MacDonald said his top priority will be jobs, his second will be taxes and third will be education. He said he'll have a conservative approach to spending, utilizing what he calls "smart dollars." As an example of how he can effectively manage finances, he said that he helped turn a $380,000 deficit in Chester last year into an $80,000 surplus this year.

"We've got to look at every dollar, every expenditure that the state has and make sure that the spending is going to the right places," he said.

According to MacDonald, 74 percent of business growth in Massachusetts comes from small industry, and he is alarmed with the amount of small companies going under in Berkshire County.

"Massachusetts is only giving a one-year roll-off, while the feds give you three years," he said. "So if [Massachusetts] businesses have a bad year, they don't get to roll it over the three-year period. We need to tighten up those issues."

For more information of MacDonald's background and his campaign platform, visit his website.



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Mark Endorsed by MassAlliance
By: Mark Campaign On: 09:35AM / Thursday June 10, 2010

MassAlliance, a political coalition composed of 22 groups including state chapters of the Sierra Club, the the National Association of Social Workers, the National Organization for Women, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association, has endorsed Democratic candidate Paul Mark in the race for the 2nd Berkshire District state representative seat.

"Paul Mark has demonstrated his clear commitment to progressive values,” said MassAlliance Director Georgia Hollister-Isman. “He is energetic and hard-working. He has what it takes to be a leader on Beacon Hill.”

Mark also has received the endorsement of several unions, including United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1459, the Pioneer Valley Building Trades, Carpenters Local 108, Sheetmetal Workers Local 63, the Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6, Ironworkers Local 7, and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 4. He is an active member in the electrical workers union, and has the full support of the IBEW telephone and electrician locals.



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Massachusetts Motorcycle PAC Backs Szczepaniak
By: Campaign Statement On: 02:02PM / Wednesday June 02, 2010

The Massachusetts Motorcycle Political Action Committee has endorsed Dalton Selectman Tom Szczepaniak in the race for the 2nd Berkshire District state representative seat.

"Tom's experience with transportation and improving our infrastructure at Berkshire Regional Planning Commission combined with his commitment to ensuring motorcyclists freer and safer conditions on Bay State roads and highways make him the best choice for state representative," said MMA Berkshire County representative Joe Tatro. "The MMPAC is always happy to help candidates like Tom Szczepaniak, who understand motorcyclists' issues and are concerned with their safety while using our public roads."



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Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast
By: Bissaillon Campaign On: 02:43PM / Thursday May 27, 2010

ADAMS, Mass. — The Bissaillon Committee is hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday, June 6, from 8 to noon at the Adams Elks Lodge, 63 Center St.

The event provides an opportunity to meet David Bissaillon, the candidate running for state representative, 1st Berkshire District, or for people who already know him to learn more about why Bissaillon seeks to represent the district at the State House.

"I hope to see new friends and old at this event, so I can hear about the state legislative issues that matter to you," Bissaillon said.

Bissaillon, a vice president at Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency and former president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, has a long history of community service.

He seeks to convert his professional and community experience to public service by representing the residents of the 11 communities that comprise the 1st Berkshire District. The district consists of Adams, Clarksburg, Florida, North Adams, Savoy and Williamstown, all in Berkshire Couunty, and Charlemont, Hawley, Heath, Monroe and Rowe in Franklin County.

Tickets are $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; and $3 for kids under 12. You may purchase tickets in advance at Creations and Shima in North Adams and Smith Brothers-McAndrews Insurance Agency Inc. in Adams. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

For more information about Bissaillon, visit www.bissaillon.com, call 413-672-2460, or e-mail dave@bissaillon.com.



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Szczepaniak Promises To Keep Officials Accountable
By: Patrick Ronan On: 11:18PM / Wednesday May 26, 2010

DALTON, Mass. — To prove how accessible he is to the public, Tom Szczepaniak announced his cell phone number to a crowd of about 100 people at the Dalton American Legion.

The Lanesborough native, who views himself as a "working man's candidate," officially launched his campaign to become the state representative of the 2nd Berkshire District on Wednesday night. The 43-year-old said he's ready to bring his work boots to Boston.

Szczepaniak is the owner of Variety Trucking & Demolition.

"We need a business-minded person with deep, local government experience," he said. "Not some greenhorn, and not another lawyer."

Szczepaniak will square off against fellow Democrats Paul Mark, of Hancock,  and latecomer to the race Noreen Surinar of Middlefield, in the Sept. 14 primary. The victor will then take on the Republican primary winner and independent Stefan G. Racz of Buckland in November's general election.

Tom Szczepaniak wants to get rid of Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day.

Currently in his third term as a Dalton selectman and president of the Berkshire County Selectmen's Association, Szczepaniak said he'd draw on his wide-ranging experience in local government and his commitment to the people. If elected, he promised to keep legislators honest in an attempt to control spending.

To make state officials more accountable, he suggested the elimination of two Suffolk County holidays given annually to government offices. 

"We need to get rid of Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day, and save $5 million dollars a year," he said.

He also came down on the amount of money spent on lawyers by state agencies.

"No more gold-plated handouts for outside counsel — $145 million for private lawyers and in the public defenders office, $35 million. Not happening [if I'm elected]," he said. "Why are we lavishing money on pricey law firms when each agency has its own legal staff?"

Other platforms included in his speech:

• To prevent casinos from coming to Massachusetts

• To stop micromanaging the judicial branch through the budgeting process

•  To support the green energy movement

• To shift more focus on public schools and public transportation

About 100 supporters attended Szczepaniak's campaign kick-off on Wednesday at the Dalton American Legion.

For more information on Szczepaniak's campaign, visit his Web site here.

As chairman of the Dalton Senior Center Feasibility Committee, Szczepaniak was instrumental in securing an override for the creation of a new senior center. The groundbreaking for the new building will be on June 7.

"It's a huge accomplishment," he said. "We've been working on that for about 12 years. Our elders will finally have a place that they deserve."

The 2nd Berkshire District consists of 22 towns in Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties. Denis E. Guyer, of Dalton, will not run for re-election after three terms.



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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation is Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

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.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



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