|By Michelle Symington|
MetroWest Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD Mayor Richard Sullivan conducted a press conference last Thursday to officially announce he will not be running for lieutenant governor and that he is endorsing Worcester Mayor Timothy Murray for the position.
Sullivan said that he discussed the possibility of a run for lieutenant governor with his family and together they decided that "it is not the race and is not the time for me."
He added that he thanks the many well-wishers who supported him and encouraged him to run. He said their support is both "gratifying and humbling."
Sullivan said that he is looking forward to continuing his job as mayor of Westfield and takes "personal pride" in wanting to see the start of several projects in the city that began eight to 10 years ago.
Some of the projects, which he outlined in his inaugural address last month, include the Great River Bridge project, improvements to Main and Broad Streets/Park Square, the multi-modal transportation/hotel project, improvements to the city's older neighborhoods and the Columbia Greenway.
Sullivan said that, no matter what he does, he will never think there is a more exciting job than being mayor.
"I am lucky to be mayor and I am fortunate people put their trust in me," he said.
Although he is not running for lieutenant governor this year, he said he will look at opportunities as they come.
He added that politics are about timing and he does not feel this is the time for him.
"There will probably be a race at some point, but not now," he said.
He added that he feels confident that it is the time for Murray to run. He added that Murray shares the same perspectives he has as mayor.
"He understands how state and local governments work," he said.
Sullivan said that making the move from mayor to lieutenant governor could be beneficial in that mayor's understand the need for a close working relationship between the state and cities and towns across the Commonwealth.
He said it all comes down to the story of public education, quality health care, quality public safety and a "personal understanding of people's daily needs and desires."
"As mayor, you work every day with citizens of the community," he said. "It is the most personal government."
Sullivan said that he is proud to call Murray a friend and is proud to endorse him in his campaign for lieutenant governor.
After thanking Sullivan for his support, Murray said it is important for the state to maintain the needed services in cities and towns, such as quality public education, public safety, libraries, senior centers.
He said it is those services that people depend on where the government is failing.
He added that it has become increasingly difficult for Worcester, Westfield and other cities and towns to make it.
He said it means a lot to have someone in the corner office who understands the needs of cities and towns. He added that the government in the corner office "is not working."
He said that the state has seen a loss of jobs, there have been more cuts in services and there are many citizens without health insurance.
"Massachusetts needs leadership that can solve problems," he said.
According to Murray, the government needs to make the state "a place where people want to live rather than leave."
He said Massachusetts is the only state that has lost population for two years in a row.
Murray said that he will be able to work with anyone chosen as governor. He added that as mayor he works with people who have different styles and perspectives.
Murray is currently in his third term as mayor of Worcester. Prior to becoming mayor, he spent to years on the Worcester City Council and has spent the past ten years as an attorney.
Murray said that his experience as an attorney would also help him in the position of lieutenant governor.
He also said that he would nominate more women to the bench and would work with local bar associations to fill judicial vacancies with quality candidates, something he said the Romney/Healey administration has done a "terrible job" doing. He added that there have been a number of judicial vacancies across the state that have never been filled.
Murray was born and raised in Worcester, where currently lives with his wife, Tammy, and one daughter. He received a bachelor's degree from Fordham University and a law degree from Western New England College School of Law.
In addition to receiving an endorsement from Sullivan, Murray also received endorsements from John Barrett, III, Mayor of North Adams and dean of the Massachusetts mayors,; Nancy Stevens, Mayor of Marlborough; Robert J. Dolan, Mayor of Melrose; Gerald St. Hilaire, Mayor of Gardner; Robert G. Nunes, Mayor of Taunton; Edward M. Lambert, Jr., Mayor of Fall River and President of the Massachusetts' Mayors Association.
For more information about Murray and his campaign, visit www.timmurray.org.