Voters meet Jeffrey Raymond, Republican candidate for 2nd Franklin District

  • Jeffrey Raymond, who is running for the Republican nomination for the 2nd Franklin District, speaks to voters at the Orange American Legion Saturday evening. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Jeffrey Raymond and Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette speak to voters at the Orange American Legion Saturday evening. Raymond is running for the Republican nomination for the 2nd Franklin District, while Sossa-Paquette is running as a Republican for the Massachusetts 2nd Congressional District. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 4/25/2022 11:35:29 AM
Modified: 4/25/2022 11:41:52 AM

ORANGE — Prospective voters had the chance to meet Jeffrey Raymond, the former Athol firefighter and paramedic running to represent the 2nd Franklin District, at the Orange American Legion Saturday evening.

Raymond, 61, is running for the Republican nomination to represent the 2nd Franklin District for this year’s election. The seat is currently held by Susannah Whipps, the only Independent House member.

Raymond was joined by Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette, who is running as a Republican for the Massachusetts 2nd Congressional District, which is currently held by U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester.

After October’s redistricting, the 2nd Franklin District will represent Athol, Orange, Erving, Gill, Northfield, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, Winchendon’s Precinct 1 and Greenfield precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9. Candidates are running in the new districts in the fall 2022 primary election, with the districts going into effect when representatives are sworn into office in January 2023. The 2nd Congressional District will now span from Worcester to Shelburne.

Speaking to the group gathered at the American Legion on Saturday, Raymond, who currently sits on the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District School Committee, said he wants to focus on education and getting “our conservative voice in our district back.”

“I’ve gotten to see firsthand what’s going on in our education systems,” Raymond said, adding that state regulations may fit Boston students, but not rural districts. “They’re trying to paint education as ‘one-size-fits-all.’ … We’ve got to let our school boards have more freedom to do what’s right for our area and our districts. … I want to try and get the state to get their paws out of our district.”

In an interview, Raymond said he wants to give parents more agency in their children’s education, noting that the state’s process for mandating masks in schools provided little choice.

“Parents had no say, and when they go to the school district, the districts had no say,” Raymond said.

He added that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education mandated masks in school but left the actual policy crafting up to individual school boards.

“It goes back to parents’ rights,” he said. “These aren’t (the state’s) children; parents should have the choice to decide for their children what’s best and what’s not.”

Raymond also touched on the idea of “compromise” with both parties, adding that while he leans Republican, things get done when people work together. He said radicals, on both sides of the aisle, are often the biggest roadblock in getting meaningful things accomplished.

“Too many people on the radical side of their party are just out to lunch,” Raymond said. “It’s not the moderate Democrats, it’s not the conservative Republicans; they’re not the problem.”

He said people should vote for him because he believes he can best represent the people of the 2nd Franklin District. He added that many of the towns in the district are blue-collar towns with conservative views, even if people don’t always vote Republican.

“Whether they’re Democrat or Republican doesn’t seem to matter, they’re conservative views,” Raymond said. “We’ve lost our conservative voice … and it’s time that somebody’s going to stand up for not only Republican conservatives, but the Democrat conservatives.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.

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