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Lesser tops Boronski for 1st Hampden and Hampshire Senate seat

Date: 11/7/2014

GREATER SPRINGFIELD – Democrat Eric Lesser announced his victory in the race for senator of the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District on Nov. 4, ending a six-month campaign that included vibrant debates between opponents.

“It was a long campaign but a joyous campaign,” Lesser said while supporters crowded the Center Square Grill in East Longmeadow, which bustled with an atmosphere of boisterous enthusiasm.

Lesser, a resident of Longmeadow, received 28,112 tallies, roughly 50 percent of the votes when all precincts reported.

By comparison, his Republican opponent Debra Boronski of East Longmeadow received about 45 percent of votes, which equates to about 24,945. America First candidate Mike Franco of Holyoke received 5 percent or a little more than 2,700 votes.

“[I want] to bring in new ideas, some new approaches, and shake up Beacon Hill a little bit,” Lesser said. “So, I’d like to get working on a high speed rail line between Boston and Springfield. That is of course a long-term project but we can get started on it tomorrow morning.”

Lesser said he wants to work to create more high technology manufacturing jobs, which is a traditional strength for the district.

“I want to get working on making sure we have better job training programs; we’re connecting our employers to our area businesses and to our educational institutions more effectively,” he added.

Several proposals have been put forward for the high-speed railway, Lesser explained.

“They just extended it from Boston to Worcester, now we’ve got to extend it from Worcester to Springfield,” he added. “And that’s what I'm going to be focusing on.”

Boronski said running for office was a rewarding learning experience that she would gladly do again. She said she is looking forward to getting back to her work with the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, of which she is the president and founder.

“The people of this district have decided who they’d like to represent them and I congratulate Mr. Lesser for a job well done,” she added. “I'm proud that I ran a very clean and honest race and I can take that with me.”

Lesser said he opposed the ballot question calling for a repeal of the Massachusetts Gaming Law, which was defeated by voters.

“The casino project from the very beginning; I think it presents opportunity for Springfield and now it’s the time to make the most of it,” he added. “[We need] to make sure the promises that have been made in order to get that license are fulfilled and that we make sure that we focus on the big things we need to do to build a strong middle class here in Western Massachusetts.”

The 1st Hampden and Hampshire District consists of Wilbraham, Belchertown, Granby, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, and parts of Chicopee and Springfield.