|By Erin O'Connor |
AGAWAM Robert Magovern, Agawam City Council member, kicked off his campaign for state representative with a reception at the Oaks Banquet Hall on Aug. 24.
Guests of the event included local business owners, citizens and politicians.
State Senator Brian Lees said, "I am very honored to be here. It is hard to ask people to give you money. It is very expensive to run for office. The person who spends the most money doesn't always win. There will be well over a half a million dollars spent between all the candidates running."
Lees thanked Magovern for running for the seat and thanked donors for their support in the campaign.
"Being a Republican is tough and running as a Republican is even tougher. There are always people who like what you did and people who don't like what you did. Magovern has the support of mine and Senator Michael Knapics'. I would not have missed this event. We are in very tough districts and we intend on bringing the taxes down and less government. We will bring money back to Western Mass," Lees said.
Magovern said that his areas of focus include restorations to Route 57, lowering taxes and educational initiatives.
"There will be no sweet deals for anyone. That is what put us in such a mess for the Big Dig. There are not a fair share of taxes in this area," Magovern said.
Members of the community who came out to contribute their support to Magovern's campaign included Barry Maloney, the interim president of Westfield State College; Mike Franco, who is running for Governor's Council; Reverend Earl E. Eisenbach, the senior pastor at Agawam Congregational Church and a member of the Rotary Club.
Eisenback said that himself and Magovern had a few things in common: one being a love of history and another being the Puritans.
He then offered words to members of the audience from the "American Gospel" by historian Jim Mecca known for his writings on Billy Graham.
"I believe in a Republican philosophy," Magovern said and cited his unhappiness with recent Legislatures not rolling back the income tax.
Magovern then offered a story to members of the audience
"A friend of mine running for City Council coming from a very ethnic family ran as a Republican. The city councilor convinced his father to vote for him even though his father was not a Republican. He went into the voting booth but his father had difficulty getting out from the curtain. His father then said 'I knew I shouldn't have voted for a Republican'."
Magovern spoke of his bringing the St. Patrick's Parade to Agawam, his vice presidency of the city council, his membership in the board of trustees for Westfield State College; and his current service on the Agawam Conservation Commission; and the Agawam senior center expansion fund raising committee.
"I am for the better good of the community. Politicians can't make up their minds. I want to correct that, they are passing millions of dollars for Rose Kennedy's Garden," he said.
Magovern will be facing John Cesan of Agawam for the Republican nomination at the State Primary on September 19. Democratic candidates Rosemary Sandlin, Joseph Mineo and Carley R. Johnson, Jr. will face each other for the Democratic ticket.
The final ballot for the Third District seat will include the winners of these primaries as well as Owen Broadhurst, who is running for the Green-Rainbow party.
The last day to register to vote or change your party enrollment for the primary is August 30. More information can be found at the State secretary's web site www.sec.state.ma.us.