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Worcester 16th District State Rep Candidates: Who Can Win?

Thursday, July 18, 2013


On Monday, the Worcester Democratic City Committee hosted a forum at Worcester Academy in anticipation of the August 13th Democratic primary for the 16th District. The winner will face Republican candidate Claros in a special election on September 10 for former Representative Fresolo's seat, who resigned in May.  

GoLocal takes a look today at the key factors in the face, both from political pundits -- and the candidates themselves.  

See Slideshow of Candidates Below

"Just look what happened in Peabody," said political talk show host Michael Graham, referring to the recent special election in April when Republican newcomer Leah Cole bested a field of established Democrats to win the 12th Essex District Seat. "Young, working, principled, female -- not some crazy Tea Partier like me. The Republicans might just have a model that's working."

"To me, taxpayers should be concerned with what the state is spending -- I just read a report that showed New Hampshire spends roughly $160,000 per mile of state-run roads -- Massachusetts spends $600,000 we're 3rd behind Florida and New Jersey. You can convince me we need more money -- and more taxes -- if you can show me why."

"Voters should be looking for someone making "reform" their magic word. R or D, that would be smart."

Paul Giorgio with the Democratic State Committee summed up his views on the election. "I think that the most important issue facing the 16th district is economic opportunity for its residents. Both Quinsig Village and the route 20 corridor present great opportunities for economic growth and jobs. It will also help stabilize the district."

He continued, "I think the district needs a mature voice, who can bring a vision for the district forward. The person who can connect on both a personal level and on the issues will win."

Chris Pinto, with the Worcester Republican CIty Committee, echoed Graham's sentiment and only thinly-veiled support for Claros. "It's about taxes and jobs. And someone who understands the difficulties in making a family budget, understands health care, and will serve us honorably. We don't need another insider who will do what Boston wants."

Candidates Weigh In

"I decided to run a week or two after Rep. Fresolo's resignation," said Khrystian King.  "It was not a decision I made lightly as I've loved my work as social worker for almost 20 years. That work has given me the opportunity to work every day with kids, families, and working people to help them improve their lives. I see my job as a State Rep to continue that work. My job may change but my mission - to help kids, families, and working people - won't change a bit."

"I've spent my entire life helping other people. I've been a social worker for 20 years, run the Crompton Park Summer Basketball League for just as long, mentored young men and women, and served this community personally and professionally. The voters of this district can trust that when I say I will always put kids, families, and working people first I mean it. It's all I've ever done. There are no question marks, no wondering or worrying," King continued.  

Carol Claros, the sole declared Republican in the race, articulated her intentions for running for the seat.

"As a single mom and nurse, I am tired of Boston politicians reaching into our wallets to pay for their mismanagement. The gas tax hike is a tax hike on the middle class. It is especially hurtful when legislators get paid to drive to work. I drive 75 miles round trip to my job and no one pays for me. It is time for a legislator who will stand up for the hard working people of Worcester,"

She went on, "Not only do I have the life experiences of managing my families budget, but I also know about healthcare. The costs of taxes and healthcare are both hurting our jobs market. I will be able to make a positive difference by cutting taxes and fighting for reforms that will make health care more affordable."

Josh Perro added his perspective for GoLocal as well.  "I decided to run as soon as it was announced that John Fresolo was resigning because we face some daunting challenges in the district. The state of our education is in crisis, crime is at unprecedented levels and people need jobs. Since I am uniquely qualified to take on these issues, I feel it is my responsibility to do so."

"Growing up at my families flower shop, Perro’s Flowers, I was immersed in the issues of the neighborhood. I would hear stories from customers about the crime going on in our neighborhoods and I am well aware of the affects drug markets have on our commercial corridors and the impact on our businesses. We need new innovative approaches to eliminating drug markets in order to reduce crime since most crime is related to drug use one way or another.

Our youth also need things to do. We need more youth development programs that embrace their interests and keep them on a path toward responsible adulthood. The Park Stewards program is one example of what I am talking about; they provide at-risk youth with summer employment opportunities to maintain our public parks while learning good work ethic. I want all kids to have the same employment opportunities I had and I want to work my hardest to expand these kinds of programs."

Perro touched upon education, and libraries in particular, as another area of importance in his campaign, as well as supporting locally owned and independent businesses. 

In addition, the City Clerk's office reported that George Fox gathered enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, as well.  


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