PITTSFIELD >> State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier says she will seek a third term in the House and forgo a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Benjamin Downing.

In a news statement issued Thursday, Farley-Bouvier said Pittsfield is at a "critical juncture in its redevelopment."

"We need an experienced legislator laser-focused on advocating for our needs," she said. "As is well known, Pittsfield's success is critical to the success of the region."

The district encompasses most of the city.

"I am looking forward to working closely with Mayor [Linda] Tyer and Superintendent [Jason] McCandless, public safety officials and our business and neighborhood leaders forging partnerships that will provide the best possible economic and educational opportunities for every Pittsfield resident," she said. "I truly value being a part of Team Pittsfield."

Farley-Bouvier, a Democrat, will face a challenge for her 3rd Berkshire District post. Pittsfield's Ward 4 city councilor, Christopher Connell, has said he will run for the office as well.

State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, confirmed he is seriously considering a Senate bid.

Downing said this week he would not seek re-election to a sixth term.

"I wish I was voting for Ben Downing this November, but with him stepping down I have been faced with a choice," Farley-Bouvier said.

"I took this decision very seriously and consulted with many stakeholders to discern what is best for my family, for Pittsfield and the larger Senate district. What has become very clear to me is that I am exactly where I need to be."


Contacted later Thursday, Connell said he continues to run an independent campaign for state representative, but will decide after consulting with supporters whether to remain an independent or challenge Farley-Bouvier in the Democratic primary.

"I look forward to campaigning and debating the issues and on what has and hasn't been done for the city," he said.

Candidates have until March 1 to declare their affiliation in the election.

"I am very confident at this point; I think I have a good shot," Connell added.