There are an unusual number of contests this year for House seats representing Hampshire and Franklin counties, and we are impressed with the field of announced candidates.
The activity is fueled by the retirements of two longtime state representatives, Stephen Kulik and John Scibak, who will not seek re-election in the 1st Franklin and 2nd Hampshire districts, respectively; the death last month of Peter Kocot, who represented the 1st Hampshire District for 16 years; and the decision by 3rd Hampshire District Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose to leave the Democratic Party and seek re-election as an independent.
With the state primary election nearly six months away, 12 people, all Democrats, have announced their candidacies. Particularly encouraging is that eight are women, who are underrepresented in state legislatures. There are now 51 women in the Massachusetts Legislature, or 25.5 percent of the total, which is comparable to the nationwide figure.
And Goldstein-Rose’s decision to unenroll as a Democrat led Mindy Domb and Eric Nakajima, both of Amherst, to run in the 3rd Hampshire District of Amherst, Pelham and Precinct 1 of Granby. Domb, the executive director of the Amherst Survival Center, and Nakajima, chairman of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, each said the district needs a Democratic representative.
We welcome the contested races and look forward to campaigns that are spirited while remaining civil, focusing on the issues affecting voters in Hampshire and Franklin counties.
Read the whole editorial here.