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Whately Select Board member Jonathan Edwards eyes run for lieutenant governor

It would be the longtime board member’s first time running for state office.

Edwards does not have an official campaign set up yet nor has he decided whether he will run for state office, but he said he is “looking very seriously at it.” Edwards said he will make an announcement soon.

He said has spent the past few months talking to several political observers to get a sense of what type of support he would have if he did make a run. So far, Edwards said, he has received a positive reaction.

If he wins, Edwards said he would work to build collaboration across the 351 communities in the state to improve services.

“The office of lieutenant governor is the office that should be the voice and ears of the cities and towns of Massachusetts,” Edwards said. “The lieutenant governor is in a unique situation to really help cities and towns tackle the challenges they face.”

As a four-term Select Board member with a background in business, energy and regional partnerships, Edwards said he can bring a valuable skill set to the office.

Edwards is co-founder of SmartPower, a national nonprofit marketing firm that promotes clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. From 2002 to 2012, he telecommuted to the Washington, D.C., offices of SmartPower.

Edwards now runs Pioneering Strategies, based from his Whately home. The marketing firm also promotes renewable energy.

Edwards has served on the Whately Select Board since 2004.

In 1991, Edwards worked on former Congressman John Olver’s campaign. In 1992, he worked on the presidential election campaign of Paul Tsongas, a former U.S. senator.

As a potential candidate from western Massachusetts, Edwards said he would have “the distinct privilege of introducing western Massachusetts to other parts of the state.”

“By working together, this state can continue to expand its economy, fight for environmental justice and create communities where people can live, work and play where they want,” Edwards said.

The Democratic primary for the lieutenant governor is next September.

He would run independently from the candidates for governor.

Nomination papers will be released after Jan. 1, Edwards said. Candidates need to gain 10,000 signatures and receive 15 percent of the vote at the state Democratic convention to get their name on the primary ballot.

Jonathan has been a great asset to the town of Whately here in Franklin County. I believe he would be the right person to represent all the cities and towns of Massachusetts in this important statewide office. Small towns have significant challenges and make up a huge percentage of where all our residents live. He knows well of these challenges. Good luck Jonathan!

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