This is the Third in a Series on Massachusetts State House Races in the Pioneer Valley
HOLYOKE—In all of Massachusetts four western counties, only one of the area’s seats in the legislature is open. In some ways, the contest, which almost did not happen, has become a battle for the soul and future of this one-time industrial urban powerhouse.
Technically, the race is a three-way election. Two Holyoke City Councilors, Republican Linda Vacon, who represents Ward 5 and Democrat Aaron Vega, an at-large councilor, are in the race with Jerome Hobert, running on the Green-Rainbow Party line. Hobert has been disavowed by the party and his fairly vapid website “testimonials” beg for questions as to whether or not he was a plant to draw votes from Vega. Hobert has admitted to using the Green-Rainbow line simply to get on the ballot.
Of the three candidates, only Vega got onto the ballot the traditional way. Both Vacon and Hobert got onto the ballot by writing their way on during September’s primary. Vega had began the race challenging then-incumbent Michael Kane, who resigned the campaign and the seat earlier in the year to pursue a private sector job. “It was not about Michael,” Vega said of challenging the former rep. Rather it was about making a change in the areas where Vega sees the state as an ally and as an obstacle for Holyoke. Continue reading