Races for state representative in Berkshire districts or portions of them don't happen that often, and the race for the Democratic nomination from the 3rd Berkshire District has been a good one for the county.
The contest between incumbent Tricia Farley-Bouvier and challenger Michael Bloomberg has been a lively one. Issues confronting the district, which is essentially Pittsfield, have been brought to the foreground. The winner will meet independent candidate Chris Connell in November.
Mr. Bloomberg argues that Ms. Farley-Bouvier has been too passive and failed the city by not getting bills passed into law, but the Legislature is a collaborative body and Ms. Farley-Bouvier is a proven team player. There is no disputing her role in getting funding for important city projects like the new Taconic High School, the turf field for BCC and the last two phases of streetscape.
Her work on the Gateway Cities caucus helped Pittsfield become one of the 10 cities, out of 26, to receive a Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) grant, in this case, targeted for Tyler Street. Her fingerprints are on legislation increasing the minimum wage and assuring equal pay for women, among others. She is strong on constituent services in Pittsfield and has been a leader on working for diversity within the city. Her background as an educator, city councilor and director of administration in the mayor's office prepared her well to become a state representative.
Mr. Bloomberg has run an aggressive campaign based on his background in finance and technology, which he maintains will prepare him to explore ways of boosting the local economy. Pittsfield needs young people like him involved in city politics and his work outside the city, along with his insights into urban economics, enabled him to bring a fresh perspective to the race.
Mr. Bloomberg, however, hasn't made the case for turning out a proven incumbent. Should he not win the primary, he will ideally remain in his native city and get involved with groups that could use his enthusiasm and provide him with experience in city affairs.
Ms. Farley-Bouvier has that experience, and it shows in the team approach she encourages in addressing Pittsfield issues and in advocating for the city and for progressive statewide causes in Boston. The Eagle endorses Ms. Farley-Bouvier in the Democratic primary on September 8.