Kennedy's stops in Berkshires: 'A nice, refreshing surprise to see politicians checking in'

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PITTSFIELD — In his latest visit to the Berkshires, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III focused on what has become a central theme of his campaign: showing up and listening.

At the Berkshire General Store in Pittsfield, Kennedy bought a cup of coffee Friday, before chatting over the counter with Lindsey Tuller, who co-owns the store at 75 North St.

"I just want answers on my end," said Tuller, 40, of Pittsfield. "It's just communication and working together."

Kennedy, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in a Sept. 1 primary, visited Boyd Technologies in Lee and Public Market in West Stockbridge on Friday morning, before his Pittsfield stop.

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Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington, who supports Kennedy's candidacy, asked Tuller on Thursday if Kennedy could visit the store.

"It's a nice, refreshing surprise to see politicians checking in with business owners, especially on Main Street," Tuller said. "They're trying to figure out a way to help. He wanted to hear what I needed."

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A few blocks away Friday morning, Kennedy supporters stood at the street corner outside the Big Y, holding signs.

Claudia Cass, 60, of Pittsfield, said "It's time" to elect someone who she believes will work to get communities the support they need. Transportation connecting the state's economy is among the top items she wants to see.

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"I love Ed Markey," said Cass, who attended with her 16-year-old daughter. "But, don't get me wrong. He's been there for 40 years, and we need transportation now. "

For her, Kennedy is the candidate the region needs.

"Joe's been here," she said. "He's seen our new encampment in Springside Park. He's just a strong advocate for people having their basic needs met."

Danny Jin, a Report for America corps member, is The Eagle's Statehouse news reporter. He can be reached at djin@berkshireeagle.com, @djinreports on Twitter and 413-496-6221.


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