As primary draws near, politicians rub elbows with prospective voters in Greenfield

  • Kim Driscoll, a candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Shannon Liss-Riordan, candidate for state attorney general, greets prospective voters on Main Street in Greenfield on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Kim Driscoll, a candidate for lieutenant governor, and Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner talk at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction Wednesday morning. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • John Merrigan of the Opioid Task Force and Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan talk with Kim Driscoll, a candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction Wednesday morning. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Ed Hayes, director of treatment at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction, John Merrigan of the Opioid Task Force, Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan, lieutenant governor candidate Kim Driscoll and Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner talk at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction Wednesday morning. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Shannon Liss-Riordan, candidate for Massachusetts attorney general, meets Precinct 8 City Councilor Doug Mayo on Main Street in Greenfield near Green Fields Market on Wednesday. Also pictured are Al Norman, holding a sign, David Singer and Gary Sheldon. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Shannon Liss-Riordan, candidate for Massachusetts attorney general, meets and greets people on Main Street in Greenfield near Green Fields Market on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/5/2022 11:25:49 AM
Modified: 9/5/2022 11:22:46 AM

GREENFIELD — With just days left before the Sept. 6 state primary, candidates are making their way around the region and including campaign stops in Greenfield.

“We are feeling the momentum just six days out,” attorney general candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan told residents gathered outside Green Fields Market on Wednesday.

Additionally, lieutenant governor candidate Kim Driscoll, the mayor of Salem, returned to Greenfield for the second time for a pair of roundtable events.

Shannon Liss-Riordan

Holding a sign in support of Liss-Riordan, resident Al Norman remarked on her history of fighting for employee rights as a labor attorney.

“This resume is incredible,” Norman said.

Liss-Riordan faces Andrea Joy Campbell, a lawyer and former Boston City Council member, in the Democratic primary next week. On Tuesday, Quentin Palfrey, the former assistant attorney general, dropped out of the race and endorsed Campbell. There is one candidate on the ballot for the Republican Party, lawyer James McMahon, who ran for the office unsuccessfully in 2018.

“I’m far and away the most qualified candidate for this job,” Liss-Riordan argued.

The labor attorney from Brookline said she has made a career out of taking on some of the largest corporations and fighting on behalf of their employees.

“(Attorney General) Maura Healy has been a terrific AG,” she told prospective voters. “That’s the type of work I’ve been doing for years. I’m ready to step in and start on day one.”

Liss-Riordan said if elected in the Nov. 8 general election, she plans to establish a green bank and use it to fund environmental justice projects. She also plans to set up more outposts for constituents in need of support and other services, and “to watch out and make sure our laws are being adhered to.”

“The AG is there for everyone across the state,” she said. “It’s important the AG has outposts.”

Liss-Riordan noted she’s comfortable and has experience defending the state when appropriate, while also holding it accountable when necessary.

“I know the state’s actions are not always defensible,” Liss-Riordan said. “They need to be held accountable.”

Precinct 8 City Councilor Doug Mayo joined Liss-Riordan at her stop in Greenfield on Wednesday to voice his support for the candidate.

“Anybody who works for the common working people, I am for,” said Mayo, who has already cast his vote in the Democratic primary. “Shannon has done that, and she’s demonstrated that.”

Kim Driscoll

Also on Wednesday, Driscoll met with Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan, Register of Probate John Merrigan, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Director of Treatment Ed Hayes and Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner for a roundtable to learn more about the jail’s re-entry services and its medication-assisted treatment program for those battling opioid addiction. An earlier roundtable was held with the Rural Policy Advisory Commission.

In her bid for lieutenant governor, Driscoll faces fellow Democrats state Rep. Tami Gouveia, D-Acton, and state Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, in the primary.

Donelan, who touted the jail’s program as a leader among county jails, said the emphasis on trauma-informed care — recognizing what may have led to an individual’s drug use — “really makes a difference.” He noted that pre-pandemic, the jail was seeing a 20% reduction in recidivism.

“If you don’t drill into that trauma … you’re never going to get out of that,” Donelan explained. “It’s going to cause a relapse.”

Driscoll emphasized housing access as a “key piece” to re-entry into the community, especially in cases where a criminal background check is necessary.

In response, Donelan voiced support for CORI (criminal offender record information) reform. Hayes explained that the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction has established partnerships with area employers in manufacturing, agriculture and food services who are willing to hire people who have a criminal record.

“We have lots of instances where people ... do everything we ask them to … and they’re dragged with that record,” he said. “And we expect them to succeed,” Donelan said.

Speaking again to the importance of trauma-informed care, Donelan also advocated for the state to allocate more funding to childhood development for early intervention.

Hayes added that the more resources the jail has to assist with re-entry, the better. In particular, he emphasized a need for more resources to address the medical needs of the population.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.


E-Edition & Local Ads


Weather


athol forecast

Social Media




Athol Daily News

14 Hope Street,
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Telephone: (413) 772-0261

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.