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Warren Campaign Ready to Take Worcester

Monday, July 09, 2012


Current polls show the Mass. senate race in a virtual tie. Both candidates are bolstering support across the state and making appearances. Debates are scheduled and their challenges are mounting.

So what is Elizabeth Warren doing to make her presence known in an area of the state historically a little more red than the rest?

Candy Carlson, a local coordinator for the Warren campaign in Worcester sits at their new office on Park Ave. surrounded by posters and signs with Warren’s name. She knows that towns around Worcester will present some difficulties, but Carlson says with the amount of energy Warren is garnering locally, they’re prepared to unseat Brown with lots of new faces and supporters.

“Scale of importance. This race is the race. Everybody is watching this,” Carlson said. “This is a woman who gets it and has done an incredible job doing grassroots. She’s a new face, and people like the fact that she gets it about middle class America. As I’ve worked on this campaign and been the coordinator for Worcester, the response is truly incredible.”

Area’s Right Influence

Carlson, who has been heavily involved in the city’s political scene for about sixteen years, knows the area’s political reputation but says that the importance of this race and Warren’s platform is going to bring out a lot of new voters.

“It is different this time. I’ve also been working with the First Worcester Towns. It is different in that the amount of people who have come out to work for Elizabeth. Just by virtue of the people out there canvassing,” she said. “They’ve been out in Shrewsbury and doing very well, unlike the last time around.”

Candy Carlson at the Warren campaign office on Park Ave.

Carlson said their team in Central Mass. is doing all they can to change the political makeup here, especially in the smaller towns.

“The smaller towns do tend to be more red, there’s no doubt about that. We hear it all the time,” she said. “’The towns are red. There’s red all around us.’ We’re hoping to change that. Will we change every town? I don’t think so, but I do think our numbers will be very different.”

Carlson says that this election is much more important and watched than before.

“So many folks in the special election took it for granted that that was our seat, but now people get it,” she said. “It’s always tough to keep people active and motivated. But with the importance of this race, we’re seeing a lot of new people.”

“There’s many of us who jumped on board back in October because it’s so critical. It’s critical for us. It’s critical for Massachusetts. It’s critical for this country, and I absolutely believe we will win this seat,” Carlson said.

Someone Who Knows Worcester

Carlson has been the Chair of the Worcester Democratic City Committee for three years and has worked with the group for about sixteen.

“She (Warren) came over to North High School. I was completely impressed with her and her ability to put 300 people in a room over there and the majority of them were people I had never seen before, which is phenomenal,” she said. “It speaks volumes to her and her candidacy. Oftentimes we see the same old. You run into the same people.”

Carlson said that the response in the area has been large and surprisingly easy to gain. Carlson said that at a house party she threw for Warren’s campaign, they raised $20,000 with very little effort.

“Seeing all those new faces and the excitement was really for me, it was breathtaking,” she said. “She’s been in Worcester ten or twelve times. Grafton, Rutland, Sturbridge… She’s really been everywhere.”

Only One Person

Carlson said that one difficulty they have seen stems from the amount of interest – people want to meet and speak with the candidate.

“So many people who want to see her and meet her, and there’s only so many hours in the day, and she’s only one person. There are some days she’s doing eleven events in a day. People want to meet her,” she said. “I think that people are excited about her and consider her to be the real deal, working for working class families. There just hasn’t been that connection with Scott Brown. He won in the special election, but I just don’t think people see the connection.”

The Opposition

One of the most upsetting things for Carlson both as a Warren supporter and a lifetime Worcester resident has been Brown’s declining of a debate here in the city.  

“We’re a big enough city, we deserve it. Why would he not want to if he is the independent voice,” she said. “Why would you not want to debate in Worcester? Why not give the people the opportunity to come and listen to this debate. It’s an opportunity where people can come listen to the candidates, and it doesn’t cost them anything.”

Carlson says this opportunity is crucial for voters and their group will continue to push for this to happen.

“Where else would they get the opportunity to listen to a dialogue and listen to where they are on the issues, in the same place,” she said. “I think it’s very unfair of him not to do a debate in Worcester. I think it’s critical and I’m very disappointed that people in Worcester won’t have that opportunity. We believe it’s good for Worcester.”

Carlson says that while Brown won in the special election, she doesn’t think he connects well enough with voters in Central Mass. despite the history of the area being a little more red than the western and eastern parts of the state.

“He got in because it was special election. He continues to say ‘the people’s seat.’ If it’s the people’s seat, then why isn’t he here in Worcester with the people?” she said. 


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