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Candidates for state Senate to debate, meet public at events in Easthampton and Southampton

EASTHAMPTON — The two candidates competing in the Oct. 8 Democratic primary for the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire Senate seat will debate at 7 p.m. Monday at the Easthampton High School auditorium.

Easthampton Mayor Michael A. Tautznik and Holyoke City Councilor David K. Bartley will each have five minutes to answer six questions and two minutes to rebut their opponent. Ray Hershel, a news anchor at WGGB-TV (ABC40), will be the moderator.

The public is welcome at the debate, but it will also be broadcast live on Easthampton Community Access Television channels 5 and 20 in Easthampton and Southampton. It will be available live and on demand online at www.ecatchannel5.org and will be rebroadcast in Easthampton, Westfield, Holyoke and Chicopee.

“I think the debate is going to be very informative and once people are done watching it, they’ll have a clearer view on who they want to support,” said Kathy Lynch, station manager for ECAT. It is cosponsoring the debate with the Easthampton Democratic Committee.

Westfield State Rep. Donald F. Humason Jr. and Holyoke Veteran Officer Michael Franco will compete in the Republican primary Oct. 8.

Lynch said the debate does not include the Republican candidates because neither are from Easthampton and because the debate is cosponsored by the Democratic Committee.

The primary election winners will advance to the special election Nov. 5 to replace former senator Michael R. Knapik, who resigned in August to become the executive director of university advancement at Westfield State University.

The district comprises Easthampton, Southampton, Westfield, Holyoke, Agawam, Southwick, Montgomery, Russell, Granville, Tolland and part of Chicopee.

Campaign events

Humason plans to campaign in Easthampton at the Public Safety Complex at 7 p.m. Thursday at an event sponsored by the Republican City Committee.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, the Democratic candidates are scheduled to attend a wine-tasting at Black Birch Vineyard in Southampton. The event benefits the Southampton Democratic Town Committee and honors state Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh.

In addition to Bartley and Tautznik, Easthampton mayoral candidates Nancy L. Sykes and Karen L. Cadieux also are scheduled to attend. Tickets for the event are $25 and the rain date is Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.

And separate debates are scheduled to be aired by Springfield television station WWLP on Sunday, with the Republicans at noon and the Democrats at 12:30 p.m.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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