Oh, boy, is this shaping up to be an exciting election year.
As if it weren’t enough that the constitutional offices are on the ballot this year—with the departure of Gov. Deval Patrick leading to an especially packed gubernatorial field—there’s plenty of action right here in Springfield, too.
The latest: Ward 7 City Councilor Tim Allen’s announcement today that he’s running for the 1st Hampden-Hampshire state Senate seat now held by Gale Candaras, who is opting instead to run for Hampden register of probate.
Allen’s announcement comes shortly after the rather surprising news that state Rep. Angelo Puppolo will not run for that Senate seat. Aaron Saunders, a Ludlow selectman and former Candaras aide, also recently announced his candidacy. The field also includes Ludlow School Committee member Chip Harrington; Tom Lachiusa of the Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee; and Debra Boronski, an East Longmeadow selectman and, I believe, the sole Republican in the race. Have I missed anyone?
Across town, the campaign for the 9th Hampden state rep seat is also heating up, as candidates jump in to replace incumbent Sean Curran, who’s decided against running for re-election. In the mix there are Springfield School Committee member Peter Murphy, former City Council President Jose Tosado, and Ed Collins, executive vice president of the Mass AFL-CIO, all Democrats, as well as Independent Robert Underwood.
Then there’s the scramble to replace Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni, if his nomination to a federal judgeship is approved (and based on reports on his confirmation hearings, it’s hard to imagine it won’t be), and, down the road, the battle to succeed Hampden Sheriff Mike Ashe, who recently announced that he'll retire in 2016. (Are we looking at a Dom Sarno v. Mike Albano contest there?)
Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.