Former Congressman John Olver

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“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.

David Sullivan, Northwestern District Attorney

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“I know Jo Comerford, I know what she has done for real people here, throughout the district and I know that Jo Comerford can go to Boston and fight hard for us on day one. She has the experience, the courage and the heart/moral compass, as a nationally recognized community organizer and activist and as a mom. Jo Comerford has listened to the people of this district effectively for decades. She listens to us and she acts for us. She hears us and our concerns are hers. . . .

Stan Rosenberg, as Senate President and as a Senator, for decades, fought for the funds the District Attorney’s office needed to protect women, fight domestic violence, provide substance abuse treatment and so much more. We have to send someone to Boston now who knows how not just to navigate the halls of the State House, but how to open doors, kick them open if necessary, to get results.”

Robert Reich, former U.S. Labor Secretary

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I first met Jo in 2012, when I reviewed the People’s Guide to the federal budget, a book that Jo’s organization, National Priorities Project published to make sure that ordinary people could understand the way government and, more particularly, the U.S. budget works. We started working together more closely when Jo joined MoveOn. There I collaborated with her on a number of campaigns and initiatives, focused on the Affordable Care Act, immigrant rights, winning a $15 minimum wage, criminal justice, and more.

From my many years in government, I know that progressive values alone are not enough to effectuate change. Good policy only comes to fruition through the efforts of experienced, principled and savvy leaders. Jo is one of those special people. That is why I strongly endorse Jo Comerford for the Franklin Hampshire Worcester Senate seat.

David Narkewicz, Mayor Northampton MA

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I have known Jo for years. I have seen her work in the professional arena, and I’ve also worked with her on the local arena, as she volunteered to help build a new playground at Jackson Street School with a mixture of private, state, and federal investment.

She’s tireless. And she just never gives up.

I know that Jo and I share many of the same values. And while that’s comforting, what’s even more important is that I know she’ll be the kind of partner I need for our city—in the good times and in the difficult times.

Clare Higgins, former Mayor of Northampton

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Quote from MassLive:

Higgins said Comerford understands that “budgets are moral documents,” and that the Legislature’s most important job is to pass the state’s core spending plan.

Higgins praised Rosenberg and the late Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton), who represented the 1st Hampshire District until he died in February.

“We’ve been really well served by a delegation across the valley that served us so well, and it’s changing,” said Higgins. “And we need the next best set of people to go into those seats and stand up for us and our values.”

David Murphy and Ellen Story

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After David Murphy announced his withdrawal from the race for the Hampshire Franklin Worcester Senate seat vacated by Stan Rosenberg, he joined with Ellen Story to endorse Jo Comerford for State Senate.

Ellen served as State Representative for the Third Hampshire District with great distinction for nearly 25 years. She has known Murphy for decades and was backing his bid for State Senate. But when Murphy withdrew, Ellen wanted to join him in supporting Jo.

Murphy stated, “I’ve known Ellen for 25 years. She’s been a friend, a mentor, and someone who I admire and respect. I know how much people of this district look up to Ellen and respect her views and together we are going to make history by electing Jo Comerford to the State Senate.” He emphasized that “Jo will be an outstanding representative for this district.” Noting Jo’s “wealth of experience,”

Ellen stated that, following Murphy’s withdrawal from the race, “It was clear to me that Jo Comerford would be the person that would best be our next Senator.”

Franklin County

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– Christopher Donelan, Franklin County Sheriff
– John F. Merrigan, Franklin County Register of Probate
– Sue Emond, Franklin County Superior Court Clerk of Courts
– Scott Cote, Franklin County Register of Deeds
– Karen “Rudy” Renaud, Greenfield City Council President

Excerpt from MassLive: “Comerford’s ‘advocacy on behalf of ordinary working people and commitment to social justice are unprecedented,’ said Merrigan.”

Merrigan said Comerford would “hit the ground running,” and Donelan said “it’s important to elect people who can be powerful legislators the first day they arrive at Beacon Hill.” Renaud said Comerford would “be a senator for all people.

Excerpt from Recorder:  “Comerford appeared again in Greenfield, where she launched her write-in campaign for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Senate District on May 22, accompanied by Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan, Register of Probate John F. Merrigan, Superior Court Clerk of Courts Susan K. Emond, Register of Deeds Scott A. Cote and Greenfield Town Council President Karen ‘Rudy’ Renaud.”

Mary Olberding, Hampshire County Register of Deeds

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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.

Sarah Etelman, Select Board, South Hadley

I’ve been serving on the South Hadley Selectboard for more than five years, and have witnessed first-hand how changes in our leadership — regionally, state-wide, and nationally — make a difference in how government works, and how that affects us, both locally and far beyond.

In Hampshire County, we have the unique opportunity to elect several new representatives, including our representative for State Senate for the Hampshire, Franklin, & Worcester District. I know several of the candidates who are running in this race, and am impressed with the range of backgrounds and skills they offer. We certainly have some hard decisions to make — which is great for our democracy!

For me, it is Jo Comerford who stands out among all the candidates. Jo has spent the past 20+ years working for change at all levels of government. She knows how to work with all kinds of people — those whose voices need to be heard, and the lawmakers who need to hear the voices.

List of Endorsements

Massachusetts Teachers Association

MassEquality

MoveOn

National Association of Social Workers-MA (PACE)

UNITE-HERE!

Congressman John Olver (ret.)

Mayor David Narkewicz, Northampton

David Sullivan, Northwestern District Attorney

Robert Reich, former U.S. Labor Secretary

Christopher Donelan, Franklin County Sheriff

John F. Merrigan, Franklin County Register of Probate

Sue Emond, Franklin County Superior Court Clerk of Courts

Scott Cote, Franklin County Register of Deeds

Karen “Rudy” Renaud, Greenfield City Council President

Connie Kruger, Select Board, Amherst

Clare Higgins, former Mayor of Northampton

Mary Olberding, Hampshire County Register of Deeds

Robert Pura, President, Greenfield Community College (ret.)

Sarah Etelman, Select Board, South Hadley

Hon. Gail L. Perlman (ret.)

Pamela Schwartz, former Northampton City Counselor

Dennis Bidwell, Northampton City Council, Ward 2

Molly Burnham, Northampton School Committee, At Large

Susan Voss, Northampton School Committee, At Large

Rebecca Busansky, Northampton School Committee, Ward 1

Peter Demling, Amherst School Committee

Elizabeth Silver, Northampton

Alice Swift, Amherst

France Crowe, Northampton

Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution