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Teachers Associations Endorse Neal For Congress

Neal Campaign
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.  — The two teacher unions serving Massachusetts  — American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts and Massachusetts Teachers Association  — have both endorsed Richard E. Neal, U.S. representative for the 2nd Mass District, for re-election to Congress.

"I am honored to once again receive the endorsement from the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Teachers Association," said Neal, who is running in the newly redrawn 1st Mass District. "As a longtime teacher and member of the MTA, I know firsthand the joys and challenges that come with the classroom. We all know children are our future and we can thank teachers for instilling academics and life lessons in our next generation of leaders."

"We are recommending Congressman Neal because of his deep and lasting commitment to students and public education," said Paul Toner, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. "Because of his background as a teacher, he understands the issues that educators face each day. Congressman Neal can be counted on to do what is best for our students and for our public schools, colleges and universities."

"Congressman Neal is a strong supporter of quality education for all public school students," said Tom Gosnold, president of AFT Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association has 107,000 members statewide, coming from more than 400 local affiliates.

American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, represents 1.5 million members nationwide, including 25,000 in Massachusetts. In addition to teachers, members include support personnel, bus drivers, custodians, and secretaries.

Legal Association Endorses Harris for Register of Deeds

Harris Campaign
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Association for Paralegals and Legal Secretaries has voted to endorse Patricia "Patsy" Harris for register of deeds for the Berkshire Middle District.

"As paralegals we have confidence in Patsy's knowledge and ability to answer our questions when they arise. She is always professional, and willing to help. It is vital to those of us who deal with the recording of real estate transactions on a regular basis to have the person who is elected as register of deeds be knowledgeable and ready to work the day after the election and Patsy is the only candidate who fits that description," said Helene Robillard, president of the BAPLS.

"I am honored to have the support of the BAPLS association. This organization is comprised of paralegals and legal secretaries within Berkshire County and provides educational seminars along with scholarships for local high school students. I look forward to working closely with the members of the association as the next register of deeds," said Harris.

Harris, who is currently an assistant register of deeds, has previously received the endorsements of current Register of Deeds Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. and Mary K. O'Brien, who was formerly register of deeds for 30 years.

Olver Endorses Neal for 1st Mass Seat

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Rep. John W. Olver officially endorsed his colleague, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, on Monday in the campaign for the 113th Congress for the new First Congressional District, as re-drawn by the state legislature during the redistricting process.
"Richard Neal is an outstanding fit for the new First District," the Amherst Democrat said. "He is a strong supporter of everything the district cares about, and he has been a great friend and partner in the House during my congressional service."

Neal has represented the 2nd Mass District along the southern border for 24 years. Beginning in 2013, his hometown of Springfield will be part of the 1st Mass.

Two Berkshire Democrats, Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. and Bill Shein, have also announced for the nomination for the congressional seat. No Republican has entered the race yet.
Olver praised Neal's work as a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the tax code, trade law, Social Security and Medicare.
"Congressman Neal has worked tirelessly to exempt the middle class from the Alternative Minimum Tax, while at the same time fighting to end loopholes that allow profitable corporations to avoid paying taxes by re-locating offshore," said Olver. "It has also been his cause to make it easier for middle income workers to save for retirement, and Congressman Neal vigorously opposes Republican proposals to privatize Social Security, which would undermine the fiscal stability of the system."
Olver and Neal have served together during Olver's entire 21-year congressional career, with each representing parts of Hampden and Hampshire counties in the Pioneer Valley, and each representing different north-south ends of Worcester County.
"As a former mayor and city councilor, Richie knows about local economic development and how important federal investment and federal seed money is to local projects," added Olver. "And he is a real rising star within the Democratic Caucus. The residents of the new First District will be quite fortunate indeed to be represented by him."
Olver was first elected to Congress in the First District in 1991. He will retire at the end of 2012.

Downing, Bosley Endorse Blackmer for City Council

Blackmer Campaign
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Benjamin Downing, state senator, Friday announced his endorsement of Lisa Blackmer for re-election to the North Adams City Council. 

"Having worked with Lisa, I know her to be an independent thinking team player. Someone who researches the issues, comes to her own conclusion and works with her colleagues, at all levels of government to see the solution through. She's been a great partner & advocate for the city and I know, if given the opportunity, will continue to be."

Daniel Bosley, former state representative,  added his endorsement. "Lisa Blackmer is one of the hardest-working city councilors I have known. She is at almost every event in the city and works hard for the people of North Adams. She does her homework and listens to what people say. I have worked with her on many issues and find her approach on issues is reasoned, intelligent, and thoughtful. I strongly endorse her candidacy."

"I would like to thank Ben and Dan for their support," Blackmer said. "I respect the work that they continue to do in the city and county. These endorsements add to the forward momentum for my City Council campaign and I look forward to working with them to address the issues facing our great city."

Blackmer, the council vice president, is seeking re-election to her third term on the city council. She has served on numerous city and regional organizations such as the Northern Berkshire Food Festival, Berkshire Food Project, Fall Foliage Parade and Festival committees, and the North Adams Open Studios Committee. She has worked in many different capacities for businesses of all sizes. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a degree in business administration and is continuing her studies at Westfield State University.

Breen Kirsch Gets Nuciforo Endorsement for City Council

Breen Kirsch Campaign
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., former state senator and Middle County register of deeds, on Friday announced his endorsement of Jennifer Breen Kirsch for a seat on the North Adams City Council. 

"Jennifer has the educational background, work ethicand vision to provide leadership for the city," Nuciforo said. "Her strong commitment to serve will benefit the people of North Adams, and I endorse her without reservation."

"I would just like to thank Andy for his support today," Breen Kirsch said. "I have much respect for him as an attorney,and as a respected political figure in Berkshire County. I know him and his wife Elena personally, and I look forward to working with him on behalf of our fine city."

Breen Kirsch earned her bachelor of science degree from Union College, and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. She served as an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex district attorney's office before returning to her hometown of North Adams to enter private practice. She has recently opened Breen Law Office and Mediation, located in Building 13, second floor at Mass MOCA.

Breen Kirsch has served as chairman of the North Adams Housing Authority and serves on the Berkshire Commission on the Status of Women. She is one of 16 candidates seeking election to the North Adams City Council.
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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was 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

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

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.

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