SPRINGFIELD – Retired judge and former Springfield Mayor Mary Hurley has announced she is a candidate for the seat on the Governor’s Council currently held by another former Springfield mayor, Michael Albano.
Hurley told Reminder Publications she is making the announcement now for the election next November because “I believe in preparation and letting people know when where I’m at and what I’m doing.”
She will kick off her campaign with an event at the MassMutual Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Oct. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The district she would represent includes Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties and the town of Royalston in Worcester County.
Hurley describes the district as a “big geographic area” and planning is necessary to “put on a first class campaign.”
Hurley has led a life of public service. A graduate of the Western New England University School of Law, she practiced law for 19 years and served as a city councilor in Springfield, followed by two terms as mayor. She was an associate justice of the Massachusetts District Court and retired July 4, 2014.
“Running for the Governor’s Council is not a stepping stone for me, but rather an opportunity to continue to serve the people of Western Massachusetts,” Hurley said. “Years of experience as a judge allowed me to focus on what I love most, the law and public service, and I believe that the Governor’s Council would benefit from my perspective. The idea of running for Governor’s Council has been suggested by friends and associates who know of my lifelong interest in politics and my concern that the courts have the best and most qualified judges and clerks.”
She admitted, “People really don’t know much about the Governor’s Council. They don’t realize the importance of the office.”
She said the group of councilors is “the last stand” in the process of approving candidates for gubernatorial appointments for judges, court clerks, and probation board and other positions.
Hurley said a “myriad of issues” surround the confirmation of such candidates, including discussion of legal philosophies.
Part of her motivation to run for the position is to once again be in a position to be able to express an opinion. She noted that for the 19 years she served on the bench, she had to refrain from making such political statements.
She does not see the Governor’s Council, though, as a forum of expressing political statements on issues other than those in front of her.
“All I want to be is a governor’s councilor – to do that job and to do that well,” she said. Hurley added, “At my age, this is not looking to do anything else. It’s a great way to cap a career.”
Her campaign website is www.ElectMaryHurley.com.
Albano has yet to announce whether or not he will run for re-election. His last press release illustrated the connection he has had with Hampden County Michael Ashe, fueling speculation that Albano intends to run for sheriff.