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Steve Simonian challenges Moore for Mass. Senate seat

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Steve Simonian throws his hat in for the MA senate race

As if incumbent state Sen. Michael Moore didn’t have enough to worry about, Auburn Selectman Stephen Simonian has stepped up as a potential Republican challenger to the Millbury Democrat’s seat on Beacon Hill.

The 49-year-old, married father of three is throwing his hat in the ring, running as a Republican for the 2nd Worcester District seat Moore has held since former Sen. Edward Augustus opted not to run for re-election in 2008.

“I just felt like people deserve better representation than the current senator,” Simonian said recently.

Whoever reaches the Democratic finish line may wind up facing Simonian, who as of now is the only Republican candidate in line. The Navy veteran is currently unemployed – he worked for EMC Corp. for a combined 13 years as a permanent and contract employee. 

His biggest gripe with Moore, who has caught heat for collecting a state pension while also drawing a paycheck as state lawmaker, is a vote the senator took last year.

“He says he represents the district, but last year he voted against returning surplus local aid to cities and towns,” Simonian said.  That is partially true. 

Moore voted against the measure in the Senate’s initial budget. When the final budget proposal came before the House and Senate, Moore voted in favor. 

“I thought it was poor policy to promise money to towns that they may not get,” Moore offered by way of explanation.  Simonian is not buying it.

“I just don’t think you can say you’re representing the district and do something like that,” he said. 

Simonian said the district deserves someone who will do what he says.

“I share the sentiment a lot of voters share,” he said. “I’m tired of phone calls, e-mails and flyers filling my mailbox to get my support. As soon as they get that support, they forget all about me and the district.” That, he was told, could be said for both parties.

“It goes on a lot,” he said. “It’s not everyone. The sentiment among people I talked to, a lot of them are considering voting against every incumbent." Simonian’s platform is simple.

“I want to honestly and fairly represent the people in this district,” he said. “As selectman, I’ve always done my best to represent a majority of the people.”

He hasn’t always enjoyed full support, however, acknowledging that his support of a business-friendly tax rate doesn’t always play well with residential taxpayers. In the end, however, he thinks business growth helps out the town.

He also thinks his message of championing the people will propel him to an upset win in November.

“I think a lot of voters will identify with me,” Simonian said. “I’m a regular guy. I don’t consider myself a typical politician. I have a track record of making myself very accessible to the people I represent.”


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