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Dawson determined to 'make it a winning ticket this time'

Date: 9/7/2010

Sept. 8, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM -- Democrat Susan Dawson, like the other candidates for the Senate's Hampden District, isn't a shoe-in for the job, but she maintains she's determined to make it to the State House.

Dawson, the former mayor of Agawam, will face Democratic candidates State Rep. James Welch and Ronald Patenaude in the Sept. 14 primary election. The Democratic victor will run against the winner of the Republican primary, Agawam City Councilor Robert Magovern or Kenneth Condon of West Springfield, in November's general election.

"The people who are out there and voting are interested in a candidate who is interested in them. I'm the candidate that has always overcome any adversity or challenges that have come in my way and I'm going to make it a winning ticket this time," Dawson said in reference to her loss to current Mayor Richard Cohen last year.

"It wasn't a winning election because I wasn't doing the job well, it was because I was facing adversity again," she added, noting her altercation with Celeste Benoit, then-wife of her boyfriend and campaign manager Mark Benoit, at Max's Tavern in Springfield in 2009 and the subsequent court proceedings.

Dawson said she's running against "the political machine."

"The political machine in this particular election is that each time that [State Sen.] Stephen Buoniconti ran for a new position, Jim Welch rode on his coat tails and Steve was never more than a short distance from Welch. I just think that if Steve wins [the district attorney race], Jim will have no one else to lean on in Boston," she added.

Dawson called herself "a grassroots candidate" who is focused on establishing Western Massachusetts as a hub for the biotech industry to create jobs, maintaining the state's education dollars in the district, reforming transitional assistance policy and curbing government spending.

Voters can reach Dawson via e-mail at or on Facebook at

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