PITTSFIELD – State Senator Adam Hinds is expected to announce soon whether he will run for lieutenant governor, six people from Democratic circles in western Massachusetts told The Eagle.
Some think it is decided, but Hinds himself is not saying it yet.
“I have used the summer to pursue a potential candidate for a statewide position, and it’s exciting trying to identify ways to have a growing impact on the community. region, “the Pittsfield Democrat, who was first elected in 2016, told The Eagle. during a phone call Thursday.
Hinds’ entry into this race would leave the Senate seat of Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden open. Colleagues of state representative Paul Mark, D-Peru, said he spoke to them about the possibility of continuing the siege if Hinds ran for lieutenant governor.
Their decisions could have implications for the Legislative Redistribution process, in which Berkshire’s four seats in the House of Representatives are expected to drop to three.
Pittsfield Democrat first elected in 2016, Hinds said in June he was considering a candidacy for a higher post and “working to build a team” to decide. If he does run, he will join a Democratic field that includes state representative Tami Gouveia, D-Acton and two political newcomers, Bret Bero and Scott Donohue.
Neither Hinds nor Mark confirmed their intentions on Thursday, but colleagues at Statehouse said they believed the two would decide to run for the new offices and would be good candidates.
“I think Paul is the right person to run for the State Senate, and I would fully support him in doing so,” State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, said of Mark , who was first elected in 2010.
“He’s the one we look to all the time in the House on labor matters to him,” said Farley-Bouvier, also referring to Mark’s work on student debt, public higher education and student groups. opioid work in Franklin and Berkshire counties.
State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, called Mark a “team player” on rural issues, the opioid epidemic and infrastructure.
John Barrett III State Representative D-North Adams said Mark had been “very important to the County of Berkshire” and that “his advocacy for higher education, with two public institutions in the county from Berkshire, would be a tremendous asset in the Senate. . “
Mark, 42, comes from a union family – his father was a Teamster – and started working full time for Bell Atlantic, now Verizon, at age 20. After becoming a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Mark used union benefits to earn five degrees, including professional doctorates from Suffolk University and the University of the North East. He remains a paying member of the IBEW and the Massachusetts Teachers Association, his site says.
“If Paul came forward he would have union support in the district and across the state,” said Brian Morrison, chairman of the Berkshire Central Labor Council, for which Mark has been a delegate. “When the labor movement needs something done, Paul is one of the people we call. “
Mark said in February that his top priorities were expanding clean energy and growing jobs.
Pignatelli said discussions about the future of the Senate seat began in September, when speculation about Hinds’ plans escalated. While Pignatelli and Farley-Bouvier each considered running for the seat when it opened in 2016, both have said they will stand for re-election rather than running for the Senate.
The Senate district, which is set to expand once again in the redistribution, “is no longer as attractive as it used to be” because of its size and the travel it would require, Pignatelli said.
Former state senator Andrea Nuciforo Jr. sparked speculation when he added $ 50,000 in April to his campaign account, which he never closed. Nuciforo, who held the seat from 1997 to 2007, said he would support Hinds if Hinds ran for re-election. But, if Hinds continues to senior office, Nuciforo – lawyer and co-founder of Berkshire Roots – is considering running for his former seat.
“I want to give Adam all the space he would need to make this decision on his own terms, and if he stands for re-election, I support him all the way,” Nuciforo said. “If he chooses not to run for office, I certainly will.”
While Hinds, 45, has yet to declare his plans, speculation about a candidacy for a senior position has continued to grow with his fundraising figures and public appearances. Hinds more than doubled the balance of his campaign account in 2021. He had over $ 164,000 in his account as of August 31.
Over the past month, he attended events hosted by the Worcester Democratic City Committee, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to his social media accounts.
In late spring, Hinds and Alicia Mireles Christoff, his wife, bought a house in Amherst, where she is an assistant professor of English at Amherst College. Hinds said in June that his family planned to continue spending most of his time in Pittsfield and that he did not believe the purchase of Amherst’s house would affect his ability to run for re-election in the Senate, s ‘he chose to do so.
To be on the ballot for a primary, all statewide candidates – including for the lieutenant governor – must garner the votes of at least 15% of the delegates to the party convention.
Pignatelli said he believed Hinds would be “the frontrunner” if he applied for the nomination.
“First of all, I will be sad if Adam leaves the Senate,” Pignatelli said. “But, if he decides to go for it, I think right now he’s the guy to beat.”
Farley-Bouvier said she and Hinds had done a good job on the Pittsfield issues, adding: “I’m not committed to anyone at the moment, but I think Adam is great.”
Hinds would be “a qualified candidate,” Barrett said, adding that Hinds “has certainly established himself as someone in the Senate in his short time there”.
Matt Barron, a Chesterfield-based Democratic political consultant, said he was seeing Hinds and Gouveia, the representative who announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor in June, as “both fairly progressive.
“I just see more of the accent differences, and maybe that’s because it’s more of a rural district and it has a more suburban district,” Barron said. “I don’t see any major political differences.”
While the 2022 races have yet to fully take shape, Barron said he believes Republicans may continue to have an advantage in the election for governor and lieutenant governor. Independent voters tend to influence these elections and “seem happy to have Republicans in the corner office to control the heavily Democratic legislature,” Barron said.
Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, has yet to say whether he will run again, and political observers believe Baker’s decision – he remains popular among voters – will affect suspected candidates for governor such as Attorney General Maura Healey. If Healey does show up, more candidates could enter the race for lieutenant governor, Barron said.
Voters will vote for the September 2022 primary and the November 2022 general election.