1st Berkshire District: Canning is first Republican to announce run


NORTH ADAMS — The race for state representative has its first Republican candidate.

Though Christine Canning will be on the GOP ticket, Canning said she puts politics over party and has campaign support from a broad political spectrum.

"I don't care what your political beliefs are as long as you can get the job done," Canning said.

Canning operates education consulting firm New England Global Network LLC, but now has her sights set on the Statehouse.

"I really don't care about power and prestige," Canning said, describing herself as a candidate who will bring change and new blood into Berkshire County politics without being afraid to take a strong stance on an issue.

A special election will be held in November to replace former state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, who died in June.

In her race for state Senate last year, which she lost to Sen. Adam Hinds, Canning developed a 15-point plan for economic development in Berkshire County that she will adapt to the Northern Berkshires for her 1st Berkshire District campaign.

Citing her professional experience, Canning believes she can help the Northern Berkshires by launching new programs, providing tax cuts to business owners, supporting the arts and reducing unfunded mandates on schools.

Canning hasn't always toed the party line, supporting efforts like single-payer health care, legalized recreational marijuana and staunchly defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Where she aligns often with her party is when the government steps in to regulate an industry or sector. Canning said she is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, which articulates the right to bear arms, and of free speech.

Canning supported legalizing recreational marijuana as an economic opportunity. Now she is warning that the Legislature could make Massachusetts less competitive by overtaxing it.

A strong supporter of the liberal arts and of workforce development, Canning wants to tap into the resources of Williams College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to help facilitate and encourage the development of both in the Northern Berkshires.

Canning, who was vastly outspent in the state Senate election last year, has no plans for major efforts to raise campaign funds.

"If people donate that's great, but I'm not going to go out for it," Canning said. "I never want anyone to say they bought my vote."

And despite the disparity in campaign funds, Canning notes that she won nearly 30 percent of the vote in the Senate election.

"That shows, number one that people believe in me," Canning said.

A Lanesborough resident, Canning lives with her two children, Alex, 14, and Katherine, 16, attend Mount Greylock Regional High School.

Canning plans to launch a campaign website and Facebook page in the coming days.

Thus far, Canning is the only Republican candidate to announce a candidacy for state representative. If necessary, a primary would be scheduled on October 10.

The special election will be held on Nov. 7.

Reach staff writer Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376 or @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter


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