I’m very grateful to Retired Congressman John Olver; Hampshire County Register of Deeds, Mary Olberding; and Alice Swift for their support of my candidacy and campaign.
Remarks from Congressman Olver:
I am here today to endorse Jo Comerford to be our Senator for the Hampshire Franklin Worcester Senate district.
I had the great honor of serving as the State Senator for this district for almost 20 years, from 1973 to 1991. I still live in the district and I care deeply about who represents the 160,000 people in our district as our State Senator.
When I left that seat to become a United States Congressman, I knew that my successor, Stan Rosenberg would well represent our Senate district. And Stan became a champion for the people of our district and for the Commonwealth for 27 years.
Now that Stan has resigned, I want to make sure the people continue to be well- represented. And I see only one candidate who is up to that job.
- One candidate who will be able to do the job on day one.
- One candidate whose life has been committed to making sure that those
without a seat at the table are heard.
- One candidate who has 20 years of leadership and experience, building coalitions.
That candidate is Jo Comerford.
Jo has been working for two decades from the outside, but that has given her the knowledge and skills to bring about change from the inside.
She has a wonderful combination of vision and listening skills. And the one theme that unites her work during the last twenty years, something that will be invaluable in the State Senate, is that Jo knows how to bring people together to make change.
Jo spent seven years as the Director of the American Friends Service Committee, and then was the Director of Programs for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, focusing on food security particularly for elders and working families. That was followed by seven years as Executive Director of the National Priorities Project, an organization which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize under Jo’s leadership. For the last four years, Jo has been a Campaign Director for MoveOn.org.
So, it is with great pleasure that I am endorsing Jo Comerford.
I hope you will join me in voting for Jo and participating in a campaign that will bring together friends and neighbors in the district’s 24 towns and cities — a campaign that will make Jo Comerford the first woman Senator ever in our district.
Remarks from Mary Olberding:
As the Hampshire County Register of Deeds, I represent people throughout this county and I know firsthand how critical this Senate district is to our future and the future of Western Massachusetts. And it matters who is elected to serve this district.
I know many of the people who have declared their candidacy, and I respect their decision to enter this race. I strongly believe in an active democracy and a vigorous debate.
But I feel in the end that Jo Comerford is the best candidate to serve in the Hampshire Franklin Worcester district and I am declaring my support for her today.
These are not normal times in which we are living. The daily assault on our civil liberties and the very core of American values must be fought at every level of government. Now, more than ever, it matters who represents us.
I have long admired Jo’s tireless advocacy for the values that we prioritize in the Pioneer Valley. Her experience as a leader in our community–with the American Friends Service Committee, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and the National Priorities Project–demonstrates that her core values represent us.
Boston is a long way from Western, Massachusetts in a lot of ways, but Jo’s ability to bring people together, from a wide range of backgrounds, will move us closer.
And Jo’s experience shows she can analyze budgets and demonstrates how we can further our priorities by using our tax dollars equitably.
I know that we, who live in Hampshire County feel very fortunate. Since I was elected in 2012, I have worked with the finest delegation of legislators in the Commonwealth. But those distinguished legislators who have represented Hampshire County for so many years are gone or are leaving, including, and most especially, Congressman Olver. Many of the reasons we love the Pioneer Valley are because of the work done by these legislators: marriage equality, the rail trail, healthcare for all, pregnancy workers fairness, raising the minimum wage, and many more accomplishments.
Because we will have a new class of leadership, we need leaders who are ready– leaders who are ready to take a stand, but who also know how to make our priorities translate into action.
The person who has demonstrated this ability and the person with the vision to move our priorities forward is Jo Comerford.
I am proud to announce my support for her today and I urge you to Go with Jo and write in her name on the ballot for State Senate on September 4th.