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Briefings: Running the Rumor Mill at the Close of 2013…

UPDATED 8:51PM: For confirmation that Ed Collins has filed with OCPF and additional details.

Nothing goes better with politics than a great helping of rumors! (via

With ten days left to 2013 and a host of open or possibly opening seats, it is little wonder that politicos are sniffing around for promotions and opportunities.  In the span of less than a month as many as three legislative seats may open, one seat has opened, and Democrats are plotting for a Republican-held senate seat.  Add to that Mark Mastroianni is expected to be confirmed and the stage is set for a loaded political year in the Pioneer Valley.

Of course with that will come round after round of rumor-mongering and there is no time like the present.  When fresh rumors go reported and reach critical mass, expect to see a burst of office by office possibilities.

The latest word is not a rumor.  Peter Murphy, the district School Committee member for Wards 2 & 8 has announced his intention to run for the 9th Hampden House seat with a statement in Facebook.  Sean Curran announced earlier this month his intention to retire.  Word is that efforts are underway among committee members to circle their wagons around Murphy and other forces may or may not be trying to keep out potential challengers from Ward 2, the city’s historical Irish heart.

However, there is another potential name in the mix.  Rumor has it union leader Ed Collins may take a look at the race as well.  The rumor got real as Collins has filed for the seat with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance (h/t @mrrural). Collins, an International representatives for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers was one of the 1st Congressional District’s delegates to the 2012 Democratic convention in Charlotte. Due to Collins role in the IBEW and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO (where has also held leadership posts), he has the potential to amass a huge amount of cash & support. Collins’s brothers include Tim, the head of the Springfield Education Association, and Chris, a School Committee member.

The following is also not a rumor, but not quite an announcement either.  While a number of the defeated Democrats from the 2010 Hampden County District Attorney’s race have not dissolved their campaign committees, none have made a public statement of their intentions.  However, one person has formed a new committee for that race.

Shawn Allyn, an attorney with a Holyoke practice and Feeding Hill resident, has formed a committee with OCPF filing for the DA’s race as a Democrat.  Contacted for comment, Allyn declined to make any formal commitment to run, preferring to wait until the US Senate confirms Mastroianni.

“Yes, at this time, I am exploring a possible run for Hampden County District Attorney but I have not made any official decision or any formal announcement,” Allyn said in an email adding that he did not want to take the spotlight off of Mastroianni.  “I believe that this moment belongs to Mark and I want to be respectful of that during this time,” he added.

Finally, there is word that contrary to earlier indications Springfield Ward 7 Councilor Tim Allen may consider the 12th Hampden if Angelo Puppolo runs for Gale Candaras’ seat.  Incidentally, Puppolo may not have the race all to himself, either.  Chip Harrington, a Ludlow School Committee member is making moves to organize an independent bid for the senate seat if Candaras moves on to run for a county office next year.  The other Democratic names remain a possibility as well for the senate seat, although there is no new rumors about any of the candidates.

Stay tuned!