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Briefings: Westside’s Attorney Making Moves toward Top Job…

William Reichelt (via Twitter/@ReicheltMayor)

Rumors have swirled around the West Springfield mayoral race ever since one-term mayor Edward Sullivan declined reelection, but only State Representative Michael Finn has officially confirmed his campaign. A former assessor, Hans Doup, has taken out papers, but has yet to release any public statement. Now a top town employee may be seeking the job.

William C. Reichelt, whom Sullivan appointed Town Attorney last June, has filed as a candidate for mayor with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance. A newcomer to politics, Reichelt, who turns 29 this month, would add a slightly younger patina to a mayoral contest that suddenly developed in April.

“Yes I’m running for mayor,” Reichelt said in a telephone interview. “It is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The timing’s right,” he continued noting, however, that he had hoped to serve under Sullivan, a mentor of his, for a few more years before a run for office.

Reichelt said he might take a leave of absence, but has not made a decision on that front yet. He has spoken to the state Ethics Commission that advised him he could keep his job, provided he did no campaigning during work hours. As a public employee, he also cannot raise money for himself. Reichelt has appointed his brother, an accountant, his campaign treasurer adding his father, also an accountant, would be involved as well.

Rep. Michael Finn in October with his predecessor in the House, Sen. Jim Welch (WMassP&I)

In any event, Reichelt would be going up against the far-better known Finn, who has been a figure in West Springfield politics for a decade or more. In addition to obvious ties to the local delegation, he has relationships with notable reps from across the state. Moreover, Finn, 45, has proven his electoral chops, defeating three conservative opponents in as many elections centered in rightward-swinging Westside.

Finn’s candidacy was first reported by Masslive.

Reichelt said he has spoken to Finn as a courtesy. “I’ve known him since I have been involved in the town,” Reichelt explained.

Other big names could yet announce, however Finn’s 2014 opponent is not likely to be one. Nathan Bech has pulled papers for a district Council seat.

Although young and a member of the bar for only eighteen months, Reichelt’s resume is not wanting for public service. According to his LinkedIn profile, he worked as a town attorney in Agawam and held public interest internships as a law student at Western New England. Reichelt also served on the West Springfield’s Community Preservation Committee, Housing Authority and Planning Board, in some cases as far back as 2008.

Before law school he attended Westfield State and worked as a store manager for Abercrombie & Fitch.

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