|By Erin O'Connor|
AGAWAM The final ballot names for the Third Hampden District candidates came out the first week of July.
The candidates running to fill the state representative seat vacated by Daniel F. Keenan (D-Southwick) after he announced his retirement last February include a diverse lot.
Owen R. Broadhurst, a member of the Green-Rainbow Party. He is a substitute teacher, a community activist and member of the Conservation Commission;
John T. Cesan, a postal worker;
Robert A. Magovern, a member of the Republican Party, vice-president of the Agawam City Council and vice-chair of Westfield State College Board of Trustees;
Joseph Mineo, a member of the Democrat Party and member of the Agawam City Council;
Rosemary Sandlin, a member of the Democrat Party, member of the Agawam School Committee and onetime chief of staff for former State Senator Linda J. Melconian;
Carley R. Johnson Jr. a member of the Democrat Party;
Joseph Schebel, a member of the Independent Party.
Johnson and Schebel are more recent entries. The Third Hampden District serves the cities and towns of Agawam, Southwick, Granville, Russell and Tolland. Keenan sat in the position since 1995. He announced his relinquishing of the seat to take a position as vice president of government relations with the Sisters of Providence Health System.
In an interview with Reminder Publications Magovern emphasized his focus on, " No new taxes," he said.
"I approve a roll back of the income tax and will do this by supporting the politicians in Boston who support these amendments," Magovern said.
Magovern also said that he would be happy to debate his opponents in the election but that he will wait until after the primary in Agawam .
"The primary is September 19," said Sandlin.
Broadhurst announced on June 30 that he shall accept Sandlin's invitation to debate issues in a public forum and is concentrating his platform "genuine tax relief" in a fashion that he said, "shall end the Commonwealth's fiscal crisis."
"I shall not sign any No New Taxes Pledge, understanding that the key to tax relief is in the reduction of regressive taxes and abolishing corporate welfare," he said. "The Commonwealth can raise revenue by greater than 15% while reducing the tax burden for more than 80% of its citizens," he continued.
"My platform is basically about representing the Third Hampden District in the areas of education, access to health care, economic development to encourage jobs in the western region especially in the Third Hampden District," said Sandlin.
The election for the House will be on November 3 the same time in that the election for the State Senate will take place.