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Carpenter to challenge Puppolo for state rep seat

Date: 3/22/2010

March 22, 2010

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM - Joshua Carpenter has a goal: he wants to give the seat of the state representative of the 12th Hampden District back to the people.

"The seat doesn't belong to a party, it doesn't belong to one person it belongs to everyone [in the district]," Carpenter said.

A 2005 graduate of Ludlow High School, Carpenter, 23, moved to Sixteen Acres in Springfield soon after finishing school. He currently works for Meadow Farms Fundraising in Agawam but he has his sights set on representing the people of the 12th Hampden District, which consists of precincts 1 and 2 in East Longmeadow, precincts D, F and H of Ward 6, precincts B, C, D, E, F and G of Ward 7 of Springfield and the town of Wilbraham.

A Republican, Carpenter is challenging incumbent Angelo Puppolo, a Democrat, for the seat. He's never held an elected position before.

Carpenter told Reminder Publications he supports a sales tax rollback to 5 percent and offering affordable health care to everyone in the state. "I think health care should be equal for everybody," he said. "It should really be affordable. I will work with other lawmakers to make this possible," he said.

Carpenter comes from a family well-versed in local politics his grandfather was a selectman in Granby for 30 years.

He feels the most positive aspect of the 12th Hampden District is its people. "They're good people but they're upset about taxes and health care," Carpenter commented. "As long as I'm meeting new people, I'll always have new ideas on how to better the district."

Carpenter ran for Springfield's District 3 School Committee "on a whim" last year. That race is what spurred him to run for this seat.

"I feel my youth is an asset," he said. "I have the energy to do everything. I can spend the day in Boston and then come out to the district and meet with whoever wants to meet with me."

He plans on having a well-staffed office in the district and a cell phone on him at all times so that his constituents can get in touch with him whenever they need him.

"I won't vote on or allow any major legislation to be passed without talking to my constituents first," he added.

Carpenter will be campaigning in the coming months by attending the meetings of Republican town committees and other civic associations as well traveling door to door.