Farley-Bouvier launches re-election push


PITTSFIELD >> Positioning herself as a champion of progressive causes and team player, state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, formally launched her re-election bid among familiar faces — including state Attorney General Maura Healey — on Friday night.

"The message out there should be that Tricia is a person who gets things done," Healey said of Farley-Bouvier.

The candidate focused on her accomplishments and priorities in her remarks.

She touched on the pressing need to address the opioid crisis and described the state Department of Children and Families as a "broken system," that is completely overwhelmed.

Better supporting foster parents and preventing certain guns — namely the AR-15 — from ending up in the hands of gun owners also made Farley-Bouvier's list of priorities.

"Reasonable people can agree that weapons of war do not belong on our streets," she said.

Finally, Farley-Bouvier described the yeoman's work of partnering with local officials to work on issues like housing, mental health, public health, early education and more, and the need for unity and common purpose in these tasks.

"That is how we get things done," Farley-Bouvier said. "Partnerships are everything."

Preparing to face off against in a Sept. 8 primary election against Democrat Michael Bloomberg, Farley-Bouvier, who was elected to the Statehouse in 2011, touted her accessibility and visibility in the community.

"You have access to your state [representative], and you should," she said. "I want state government to be accessible to you."

Other candidates for 3rd Berkshire District House seat include independent Chris Connell and any Republican, Green/Rainbow Party or United Independent Party candidates who enter the contest. The election, between Connell and the winner of the Farley-Bouvier/Bloomberg race, will take place Nov. 8.

Dozens attended Farley-Bouvier's event Friday at the Sons of Italy ITAM Lodge, including members of the Berkshire delegation, Pittsfield city councilors and current Mayor Linda M. Tyer and former Mayor James M. Ruberto; North Adams Mayor Richard J. Alcombright and Springfield state Rep. Benjamin Swan.

Swan championed Farley-Bouvier's "bold and assertive" leadership on progressive issues like raising the minimum wage, a recently passed bill codifying transgender civil rights and in taking the initiative to force gas companies to fix leaks within five years in a second recent bill concerning energy.

"I don't know of anyone else who has gotten as much done in four years as she has," Swan said. "I don't know why someone would run against her. You've got the best representative you can have."

Farley-Bouvier's colleagues in the Berkshire delegation, state Reps. Williams "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, also spoke.

"I really want to see her back there," Cariddi said. "It's crucial that we keep her voice. I want to make sure I continue to have a good, reliable partner in the House."

Healey also praised Farley-Bouvier for her work on gas line leaks and the transgender bill, saying her personal efforts to sway colleagues changed at least a few votes.

"If you're talking about equal pay, if you're talking about earned sick time, if you're talking about fighting for fair wages, if you're talking about standing up for working families — Tricia puts her heart and soul into this effort," Healey said.

Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.


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