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Holyoke resident joins race for lieutenant governor

Date: 4/20/2010

April 21, 2010.

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

HOLYOKE -- Richard Purcell of Holyoke isn't one to sit on the sidelines. He's an army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, a community activist and a veterans advocate, and now he's on the forefront of the latest gubernatorial race.

Purcell has joined gubernatorial candidate Dr. Jill Stein, a physician from Lexington, as her right hand man for lieutenant governor. The duo is running on the Independent ticket.

"I want a lieutenant governor who will be absolutely dedicated to the things that we need to accomplish in the next four years -- good wage jobs, affordable healthcare, strong public education, an end to needless home foreclosures and fair taxes," Stein said. "I've found that person. Together we're going to get Beacon Hill back to work for the ordinary people of the Commonwealth."

She called her running mate "an exemplary and caring human being," adding, "he is the man of our times. He's a person who overcame incredible adversity who grew up with incredible poverty [on a Native American Indian reservation in the southwest] and then moved to Holyoke and had all the challenges of living in an underserved [community]. He is just a person who overcomes and is a model leader for his community."

Purcell has lived in Holyoke since 1974 and is a 1977 graduate of Chicopee Comprehensive High School. He has served as a surgery clerk and ergonomics specialist at Baystate Medical Center for the past 19 years.

When asked why he's chosen to run for lieutenant governor, Purcell replied, "Because Massachusetts is in trouble, and to turn things around we need to have elected officials that aren't going to be part of the insider dealing and pay-to-play politics of Beacon Hill. I've seen too much suffering and too many bad decisions coming out of Beacon Hill.

"I want to bring the voice of the people into the halls of power, and make sure that our needs aren't pushed aside to do favors for some well-heeled lobbyist," he continued. "I want to make a difference."

Purcell said he believes Stein is the right person to help make that difference, "because Jill Stein is not just another professional politician -- she's a medical doctor and an environmental health advocate. And she's the only candidate on the Nov. 2 ballot whose election will make a real difference. She's the only candidate who isn't taking money from the lobbyists ... she knows that we have to free our economy of its oil addiction if we're going to have a future. Jill's ideas are just common sense -- and there is too little of that on Beacon Hill these days."

Purcell said he and Stein are focused on bringing the state's most prominent issues to light including jobs, fair taxes and quality public education.

When asked how they plan to implement changes for the betterment of the state's economy, Purcell replied, "We need some new faces who will get to work creating jobs with small businesses, making our tax system fairer and protecting public schools. And I think we need to take a closer look at the plans for expanding gambling, because there are some big costs to the taxpayer hidden in those proposals."

Stein said it was imperative to have a running mate from outside of Boston as the needs of those in Central and Western Massachusetts are often set aside.

Purcell agreed, adding, "Holyoke is struggling in this economy, and Jill's approach to green jobs and local businesses is something that can get us moving again. A green governor would be a real plus for Western Massachusetts."

He said a Stein-Purcell administration would bring a renewed vigor to governing not seen by the Patrick-Murray Administration.

"Gov. Patrick was elected with high hopes in 2006," Purcell said, "but he's failed to make any difference. His administration has been a failure. He's given us record unemployment, painful tax hikes and fee hikes, cuts in vital programs, unaffordable healthcare and he's letting the privatizers undermine public education.

"We can't afford four more years of this," he continued. "Just ask yourself: Will we get the change we need if we elect Deval Patrick to four more years? I don't think so. Let's try something different. Let's put someone who stands with the people in the corner office, and see what happens. That will be a refreshing change."

For more information about the Stein-Purcell campaign, visit