2 MIKE ValanzolaAnne Gobi

two good ones for a large rural state senate district : Mike Valanzola (R) and Anne Gobi (D)

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The death this morning of Boston Mayor Tom Menino is sad; and we will publish our memoriam of him tomorrow.

Nonetheless, our responsibilities as a journal do not stop; there is an election on hand five days from now. thus today we make our recommendations for State Senator, in selected districts where a significant contest exists that has drawn our attention.

1st Hampden & Hampshire : In a district embracing the soithern parts of Springfield and several surrounding towns — some poor, a few not poor at all — there’s a contest between two candidates whose money issues have aroused some controversy. Despite that, we prefer Debra Boronski (R) over eric Lesser, the Democrat, significantly because the district’s communities are very conservative and merit a like-minded voice in the Senate.

1st Plymouth & Bristol : the district that includes Taunton and Attleboro is fairly conservative-minded itself; biut the 20-year incumbent, Marc R. Pacheco (D), is our choice because of the strong respect that he commands among his Senate colleagues, all of it a bonus for his not so wealthy constituents.

1st Worcester : no one in the State Senate works harder than long-time incumbent Harriette Chandler (D), a tireless voice for Worcester, a city much in need of her influence, as well as for the small suburbs included in her mostly urban bailiwick. We recommend her highly.

2nd Essex & Middlesex : for a district that includes well-off Andover but also the depressed city of Lawrence a well as two very Republican-minded towns, Dracut and Tewksbury, two Andover selectmen are running : Democrat Barbara L’Italien, a former state representative, and Alex Vispoli (R), who has campaigned as intensely in Lawrence as any Republican legislative candidate, in any city, that we are aware of. We choose Vispoli.

5th Middlesex : Winchester, Melrose, Malden, Wakefield, Reading, and Stoneham elected Jason Lewis (D) in a special election last Spring. Monica Medeiros, a Melrose selectwoman, the Republican whom he defeated then, is running again. Lewis is a prodigious campaigner, unflinchingly progressive, and just as unflinchingly supported. We like Lewis’s advocacy. He should be elected to a full new term.

Plymouth & Barnstable : There aren’t many, if any, policy decisions or constituent services that Plymouth state Represehtative Vinny deMacedo (R) gets wrong. The retirement of senate President Therese Murray gives him his chance to advance to the Senate. We’re on his side.

Worcester & Norfolk : Not many Republican state representatives dare to challenge a sitting state Senator, but two-term Rep Ryan Fattman has done so. Incumbent Richard T. Moore (D) knows that he is of the wrong party in one of the state’s most Republican-minded areas, and he is. Fattman is very conservative, and we disagree with most of his positions on the issues; but for his southern Worcester county communities he is well-positioned, and his tireless campaign wins major respect. We support his election.

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire & Middlesex : Anne Gobi (D) and Mike Valanzola (R) : the retirement of Senate Ways and Means chairman Stephen Brewer opens up a mostly rural district that reaches from the New Hampshire border to that of Connecticut, 27 towns as forgotten by Beacon Hill as any in the state. Valanzola, an EMC Corp. executive, would ordinarily be the easy favorite in his very Republican-minded region; but his opponent, Anne Gobi of Spencer, a five-term state representative, has criss-crossed the 27 towns even more vigorously than Valanzola and, though not as conservative in policy as he, is fully conversant with the area’s rural culture, organizations, and interests. She also has the full support of Brewer. We like both Gobi and Valanzola.

—- Mike Freedberg for Here and Sphere