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IN THE NEWS - Endorsed by "The Republican"
October 28, 2006

Our choices on Nov. 7 for state Senate seats

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Voters in three area state Senate districts will have contested races on their ballots when they go to the polls on Nov. 7.


As in past elections, this newspaper endorses those candidates who, we feel, will do the best job for their district and its residents.


Here are our endorsements in the contested races for Massachusetts Senate:


Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin District: Benjamin B. Downing, 25, of Pittsfield, topped a field of five Democratic candidates in the Sept. 19 primary. His victory surprised some, but don't be misled by his youth. He will be an able replacement for Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., who is giving up his seat after 10 years.


He'll focus on jobs, education and health care if he's elected. He wants the state to invest in transportation and communications infrastructure to expand wireless and broadband service to every community in Western Massachusetts. Young and intelligent, too.


1st Hampden and Hampshire District: Enrico J. Villamaino III, 29, of East Longmeadow, an aide to Sen. Brian P. Lees, R-East Longmeadow, says he has knocked on the doors of more than 15,000 homes during his campaign for the seat being vacated by his boss. In his campaign, grassroots is another word for lawns. He's seen a lot of them.


Like Lees, he'll do what's best for his district, not what's best for his party. He's young, but he has firsthand knowledge of Beacon Hill and how it works. He will be an advocate for small businesses - small business could use a friend in Boston.

Hampshire and Franklin District: Eight-term incumbent state Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg is one of the most respected lawmakers on Beacon Hill. In fact, he would have been our choice for Senate president.


He co-chaired the Senate's Task Force on Higher Education, and co-sponsored a bill that calls for the infusion of $400 million over seven years into higher education.


As a Democrat and a liberal who opposes the death penalty, is pro-choice and believes the Supreme Judicial Court made the right decision in its ruling favoring gay marriage, he is a good fit for a Senate district that includes Northampton and Amherst.


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