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On March 31st voters of Shrewsbury and two precincts of Westborough will elct a new State4 Representative, a successor to Matt Beaton, who was named our State’s Energy Secretary by new Governor Charlie Baker.

Two candidates are running : Jason Palitsch, a member of the Shrewsbury School Committee, and Hannah Elizabeth Kane, who is Beaton’s partner in their environmentally oriented construction firm and a member of Shrewsbury’s Finance committee. We endorse Kane’s candidacy.

I have watched the 11th Worcester campaign closely since January, on social media and in person. I attended the League of Women Voters’ candidates’ debate of March 16th and tweeted it live. I have followed both candidates since then as well. My personal choice has been Kane from the first night that I heard her speak, two months ago; but I now write this formal endorsement because what i have seen of the two candidates requires it.

Kane takes a flexib;e, practical approach to policy questions. She supports charter school reform but also works to improve her district’s standard public schools. She agrees with Governor baker that there should not be new taxes in the coming fiscal year, but as a member of Shrewsury’s Finance Committee supported a (successful) Proposition 2 1/2 override. Ending homelessness is a priority for her, as is assuring that Shrewsbury and Westborough receive every dollar of local aid accorded them in budget legislation. Kane also supports women’s health care rights and marriage equality.

Kane’s opponent, Jason Palitsch, has run an energetic campaign, door to door with numerous meet and greet events that captured the attention of many, myself included. He articulated issues, sometimes boldly even when not to his advantage : opposing charter school expansion, as he declared at the LWV debate, certainly seems risky in a district as suburban as the 11th Worcester. Palitsch also demonstrates mastery of school administration issues and state mandates. He’s not afraid to articulate his knowledge. Doubtless he would be somewhat challenging for Speaker Robert DeLeo to blend into his caucus, and definitely the 11th Worcester — not a Democratic district since the 1980s — expects its state house voice to be a challenger.

It took Kane quite awhile to find her campaign stride. Palitsch had the momentum and the intensity. But then, about a week before the LWV debate, Kane revamped her social media presentation, posting one after another lengthy, issues and achievement endorsements by well known Shrewsbury and Westborough leaders accompanied by their picture. Then came the LWV debate, at which Kane answered questions in a voice as knowledgeable as mellow.

Kane’s candidacy has boomed ever since that debate. Governor Baker has joined her for door-knocking. I take this as indication that Kane fully supports Baker’s agenda, as do we. that’s reason enough for us to endorse her election on March 31st, a week from today.

—– Mike Freedberg / here and Sphere

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