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2nd Hampden & Hampshire Senate Special

Election Day is Tuesday November 5, 2013.
The Candidates for November general are Democrat David Bartley and Republican Don Humason
PARTY PRIMARIES: The nominating primary is Tuesday October 8, 2013.

The current Second Hampden & Hampshire. Click for larger view. (via malegislature.gov)

The current Second Hampden & Hampshire. Click for larger view. (via malegislature.gov)

The special election to replace Senator Michael Knapik includes Agawam, Chicopee (precincts 7A, 7B, 8A, 9A), Easthampton, Holyoke, Granville, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Southwick, Tolland and Westfield.  Read more on the race.

*NOTE: Not sure if this the election you are looking for? Enter your address on the Secretary of State’s website and find out where your polling place is and, if in Chicopee, whether or not your precinct is in this district (we hope you know what town you live in otherwise).  After primary, defeated candidates’ names will be stricken out.  Parties and candidates arranged alphabetically.

Democrats

Councilor David Bartley (via holyoke.org)

David Bartley

Offices Held: Holyoke City Council, Ward 3 (since 2012).
Profession: Attorney
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On the candidate (briefly): David Bartley is the only Democratic candidate from Holyoke in the race, which suggests that he has consolidated political support there as no citywide Dems sought the seat.  However, Bartley starts the race off as a ward councilor and a new one at that, not necessarily known to all across the city except among the political crowd.  Bartley does have strong political connections and a famous name.  His father was both a state rep and state senator from Holyoke and the last Western Massachusetts legislator to serve as the leader of either body of the Legislature.  The elder Bartley also ran against John Kerry, then Lt. Governor, in 1984 for the Democratic US Senate nomination.  To some he is the more conservative of the two Democrats, however, any sharp differences have not gotten any press.  That may change after a series of upcoming debates.

Mayor Michael Tautznik (via Facebook/Tautznik campaign)

Mayor Michael Tautznik (via Facebook/Tautznik campaign)

Michael Tautznik

Offices Held: Mayor of Easthampton (since 1996), Chair of Easthampton Board of Selectman.
Profession: Mayor
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On the candidate (briefly): The only mayor that Easthampton has ever known, Michael Tautznik had planned to retire from politics this year, but the vacancy Knapik’s resignation caused made him to reconsider.  Tautznik became mayor in 1996 after the municipality switched from a town to a city government.  Prior to that, Tautznik served on the Board of Selectman as its chair and also served as a member of the then-town’s representatives town meeting.  Hailing from the more liberal leaning belt of the district, Tautznik has long been among the region’s most visible mayors and the length of his tenure adds to his name recognition.  While that left-leaning record is thought by some to be a liability in this district laden with Westfield and environs’ conservatism, Knapik’s predessor and the last Democrat to hold this represent this area in the Senate was then-Easthampton resident Shannon O’Brien.

Republicans

Michael Franco (via springfieldintruder.com)

Michael Franco

Offices Held: None
Profession: Claims investigator, Holyoke Veterans Dept.
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On the candidate (briefly): A perennial candidate from Holyoke, Franco was the Republican nominee for the 8th Governor’s Council district and lost to former Springfield mayor Michael Albano who left office under a cloud of suspicion.  Franco narrowly beat the other Republican running in the 2012 primary, his only contested Republican primary of his electoral history, which spans 10 years and consists of many runs for Governor’s Council and one bid against Michael Kane for the House of Representatives.  Franco has been identified with the much more conservative wings of the Republican party.

Rep. Don Humason (via Facebook/Humason campaign)

Rep. Don Humason (via Facebook/Humason campaign)

Donald Humason

Offices Held: Fourth Hampden, Massachusetts House of Representatives (since 2002)
Profession: Legislative aide (prior to election)
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On the candidate (briefly): Don Humason was long thought to be Knapik’s heir apparent to take the Senate seat just as Knapik did nearly 20 years ago.  Knapik’s timing for resignation did give Humason a boost as it jammed Democrats who might otherwise consider the seat were it not falling in the midst of a municipal election year.  Although thought to be more conservative than Knapik (Knapik voted to fund the transportation bill, Humason did not), he is viewed as the more moderate in the primary than Franco.  With Westfield largely to himself and Knapik’s brother seeking reelection as mayor there, Humason enters the race with considerable strength for a district as swingy as this one.  However, he is probably more likely to receive a challenger next year and therefore than Knapik was.

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