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Senate candidate Scott Brown opens office in Holyoke

Date: 12/29/2009

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

HOLYOKE -- With the U.S. Senate vote less than a month away, the top two candidates in the Commonwealth -- Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown -- are stepping up their efforts to spread their messages and meet with voters.

On Saturday, Brown made several stops throughout the Pioneer Valley, including the opening of his Western Massachusetts campaign office on South Canal Street in Holyoke.

The office was packed with supporters of all ages who support the Republican nominee to fill the late Ted Kennedy's seat, including young sign holders from West Springfield.

Mike Bittner, 19, attends school in Virginia and came to the campaign office opening because he wanted to learn more about Brown.

"I support him because he's about low government spending ... and lower taxes are always better," Bittner said. "I'm not a big fan of all the spending going on right now in government."

Bittner was there with Alex Temple, 18, and Lincoln Blackie, 20. "There's not a lot of awareness of Scott Brown in West Springfield," Blackie said, "but we've been getting a good response sitting out at stop lights [with our signs]."

Brown made an effort to greet each supporter personally, but took time out to make a speech. He noted his stance on the health care bill -- "longer lives but higher taxes for what we're already doing in Massachusetts" -- and on the cap and trade policy, which he said will cause a lot of unnecessary stress for both families and businesses.

"The national energy tax will mean $1,700 per family extra in bills each year," he explained. "And if you own a business, you're in big trouble." He added that Polar, the soft drink company in Worcester, is looking at paying $5 million to $6 million more in energy costs by doing what they currently do.

Brown stated several times that he is in favor of cutting taxes, because "lower taxes get more jobs."

"It's pretty basic," he said. "Lower taxes means businesses and individuals have more money in their pockets."

He also noted his support of our troops overseas and Holyoke Soldiers' Home.

Brown called his race against Coakley "a race of distinction" and noted that it is "far from being over."

After the opening of the campaign office, he visited the Holyoke Mall, the Hu Ke Lau and the Munich Haus in Chicopee and ended his day at Max's Tavern in Springfield.