In what came as something of a surprise to some, Governor Maura Healey included $12.5 million for Western Mass rail work in her Fiscal Year 2024 budget. While not necessary for East-West rail between Boston and the 413, the money for work in Palmer and Pittsfield was a positive sign. Then the legislature began its budget process.
BOSTON—Days before Eric Lesser gave his last speech as a state senator from Western Massachusetts, the commonwealth, jointly with Amtrak, applied for a $108 million federal grant. In the twilight of his Senate tenure, the project took one of its greatest leaps toward reality.
SPRINGFIELD—It was a perfect day for peacemaking last month outside Union Station. Yet, the political and practical challenges of stitching east and west together pale in comparison to the broader task before Maura Healey.
EAST LONGMEADOW—Given how she envisioned the arc of her life, Sydney Levin-Epstein doubts she would have sought public office if things went differently. Now she is locked in a heated race with Ludlow State Representative Jake Oliveira for one of region’s coveted State Senate seats.
EAST LONGMEADOW—When asked about being in the fight of his political life, Jake Oliveira projects anything but panic. In fact, he argues, it is not nothing new, pointing to the close races and chicanery he faced since first running for School Committee in his native Ludlow over a decade ago.
SPRINGFIELD—Amid a tight battle for his party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, Senator Eric Lesser received the endorsement of the region’s most senior elected official, US Representative Richard E. Neal, framed by Union Station.
Whether a gentle laying on of hands or a less voluntary conversion, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is now a believer.
At a press event at Union Station in Springfield and alongside US Representative Richard Neal, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker endorsed a plan to establish a rail authority to oversee the implementation of East-West rail service.
LUDLOW—The difference from eight years ago is stark. When the State Senate district hugging Springfield’s east, north and south sides was last open, five Democrats sought the nomination. It looks likely that in 2022, only two will run: Jake Oliveira & Sydney Levin-Epstein.
The Democratic primary for an open State Senate district that cuddles the lower Pioneer Valley’s urban core has become a race. Sydney Levin-Epstein, a political advisor, campaign staffer and congressional aide from Longmeadow leapt into the race Tuesday for what will be the Hampden, Hampshire & Worcester Senate district next year.
After months of speculation, Longmeadow Senator Eric Lesser has taken the plunge and will pursue statewide office. On Tuesday, he announced he was running for lieutenant governor becoming the fourth Democratic candidate in a race that could become yet more crowded.