Candidates tout experience in three-way Dem primary in 5th Hampden District

  • David Bartley, center, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, campaigns Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on Northampton Street in Holyoke with supporters Dan O'Neill, left, and James Brunault. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Pat Duffy, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, picks up trash, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on the grounds of the Holyoke Public Library. Duffy and her campaign team, including Sandy Ward, left, and Linda Pratt, handled the chore, which was originated by OneHolyoke CDC. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • David Bartley, center, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, campaigns Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on Northampton Street in Holyoke with supporters Dan O'Neill, left, and James Brunault. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • David Bartley, center, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, campaigns Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on Northampton Street in Holyoke with supporters Dan O'Neill, left, and James Brunault. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Pat Duffy, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, picks up trash, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on the grounds of the Holyoke Public Library. Duffy and her campaign team, including Sandy Ward, center, and Linda Pratt, handled the chore, which was originated by OneHolyoke CDC. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • David Bartley, right, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, campaigns Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on Northampton Street in Holyoke with supporter Dan O'Neill. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Pat Duffy, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, picks up trash, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on the grounds of the Holyoke Public Library. Duffy and her campaign team, including Sandy Ward, center, and Linda Pratt, handled the chore, which was originated by OneHolyoke CDC. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Pat Duffy, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, picks up trash, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 on the grounds of the Holyoke Public Library. Duffy and her campaign team, including Linda Pratt, right, handled the chore, which was originated by OneHolyoke CDC. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Patrick Beaudry, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, knocks on the door of a supporter on Hillside Avenue in Holyoke, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Patrick Beaudry, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, talks with Christine Lubold while canvassing on Hillside Avenue in Holyoke, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Patrick Beaudry, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, talks to Lisa Martin, left, and Mary Lou Martin while canvassing on Hicks Avenue in Holyoke, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Patrick Beaudry, who is running for state representative in the 5th Hampden District, talks with Maureen Lubold while canvassing on Hillside Avenue in Holyoke, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Her dog, Jameson, takes a sniff. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Patrick Beaudry, Patricia Duffy and David Bartley are vying for the Democratic nomination in the 5th Hampden House District.

Staff Writer
Published: 8/8/2020 4:31:25 PM

HOLYOKE — Socially distanced street corner campaigning. Masked door knocking. Zoom meetings instead of house parties and neighborhood gatherings.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have made traditional political campaigning more difficult, but the three candidates for the state House seat in the 5th Hampden District have been pushing ahead as the Democratic primary approaches on Sept. 1.

Running the primary are Patricia Duffy, the legislative aide for the seat’s current occupant, Rep. Aaron Vega; Patrick Beaudry, the manager of public affairs for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; and David Bartley, a lawyer, commercial real estate broker and five-term Ward 3 city councilor. In separate interviews, the candidates made the case for their election as Holyoke’s next state representative to Beacon Hill.

For Duffy, her pitch centers on her experience working alongside Vega and advocating for the city. She said that when it came to writing legislation, or getting into the weeds on issues such as reopening schools amid the pandemic, working for equitable education funding and advocating for the city, she is already doing that work as a legislative aide.

“Folks can talk about being ready on day one,” she said. “I’m ready on day minus 90.”

Bartley is also emphasizing his own background — his legislative chops as a city councilor and his business experience from running his own law firm. He also highlighted his opposition to the ballot question this past November that asked voters for a debt-exclusion override to build two new middle schools. The schools project, which was supported by many of the city’s elected officials, was defeated 4,872 votes to 2,694.

“To see that ballot question vaporized, it was rewarding because we worked hard to defeat it,” Bartley said. “And can you imagine where the city would be now, with the pandemic upon us, having to pay our taxes and having to pay what would have been a 30-year mortgage on top of our taxes.”

Beaudry, meanwhile, portrayed himself as a “fresh set of eyes.” He said he will work for economic justice for residents after years of the state failing to adequately address the challenges faced by its so-called Gateway Cities, including Holyoke. He mentioned his past work with Vega’s predecessor in the 5th Hampden seat, Michael Kane, but stressed the fact that he is not currently part of Holyoke’s political class.

“What I’m really offering to voters is a candidate who can lead our city to a brighter future, and Councilor Bartley has now been in city leadership for a decade, Ms. Duffy has been in the incumbent’s office for eight years,” he said. “They are the status quo. They are who has been driving the ship here.”

Political fundraising, of course, continues to be a significant part of campaigning, and each campaign has managed to pull in thousands of dollars.

Beaudry has raised the most campaign cash thus far in the race with $16,774, 30% of which came from Holyoke residents, according to state campaign finance reports.

Beaudry’s largest financial backers are New York City-based CBS producer Christopher Licht, who has given $2,000, and Springfield’s Paige Collins and Christopher Collins, a longtime School Committee member, who gave $1,000 each. He has received $500 from Angela Brooks, a lawyer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-Boston, Jennifer Licht of New York City and the Massachusetts & Northern New England Laborers’ District Council.

Among the Holyokers giving to Beaudry’s campaign are restaurant owner Roddy Cameron, St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke President Marc Joyce, City Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee, City Council President Todd McGee, and Stephen Bosco, president of the rental unit management company Arrow Properties.

Duffy has raised a total of $13,361, 46% of which came from Holyoke residents. Duffy’s top contributor was Brittnie Aiello, a Merrimack College professor who gave $1,000. Three other donors have given $500: West Springfield resident Jennifer Adams, a manager at Mestek Inc.; Holyoke’s Kristen Beam, an editor at Pioneer Valley Books; and Dorchester resident Jeffrey Klein.

Duffy has received $250 from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and $200 from the political action committee of the state’s largest nurses union. She also received contributions from Holyoke officials such as City Council President Todd McGee, At-Large City Councilor Rebecca Lisi, Planning Board member Kate Kruckemeyer and At-Large School Committee member Devin Sheehan.

Bartley has raised less than his opponents, having received $11,317, which includes $1,602 from his previous election committee. Excluding that money raised for previous campaigns, 64% of Bartley’s cash comes from Holyoke residents. Bartley officially announced his candidacy in April, after the state shutdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said prevented him from holding the kind of kick-off fundraiser that normally brings in significant campaign cash.

Bartley’s top contributors include two vice presidents and the owner of the Holyoke-based puzzle and games manufacturer Edaron, who collectively gave $3,000. New York City banker Susan Bartley and Needham-based wealth adviser James Terrence Carleton also gave $1,000.

Bartley has also pulled in money from City Councilors Howard Greaney and Terrence Murphy, as well as former City Council president Kevin Jourdain. Former city solicitor and previous Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce president Maurice Ferriter, local contractor Christopher Kane and Sexton Roofing owner Everett Sexton each gave $500.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

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