Jacobs wins Governor’s Council race

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Berkshire Eagle
Published: 11/9/2022 9:06:51 PM

NORTH ADAMS — North Adams Democrat Tara Jacobs will represent western Massachusetts on the Governor’s Council.

She handily defeated Republican candidate John Comerford in the race for the District 8 seat.

With about 72% of the vote in by midday Wednesday, Jacobs had 144,744 votes while Comerford had 88,185 votes, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s a little bit surreal but very exciting,” Jacobs said late Wednesday morning. “I cannot wait to do this role. My head is filled with all the things I want to accomplish.”

What she’s most excited about: “bringing diversity to the Parole Board and judicial bench and thinking about how to do that.”

Comerford could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Governor’s Council meets weekly to approve the governor’s appointments for judges, clerk magistrates and members of groups like the Parole Board. The group also weighs in on the governor’s pardons and commutations.

District 8 represents western Massachusetts, including all of Berkshire and Franklin counties, and most of Hampshire and Hampden counties. Councilors serve two-year terms. Retired judge and East Longmeadow resident Mary Hurley, who currently represents District 8 on the council, decided not to run for reelection.

Jacobs, a self-employed marketing consultant, is a member of the North Adams School Committee and library board of trustees.

In September’s Democratic primary, Jacobs won a close race that some called an upset when she beat several candidates who were all lawyers in Hampden County.

Comerford ran unopposed in the Republican primary. The Palmer resident is a retired welfare fraud investigator and a veterans’ agent in the town of Holland.

The two candidates faced off in a debate in Springfield late last month in which their political differences were made clear.

While campaigning, Jacobs cited priorities like racial and social justice, and better educating people on the role of the Governor’s Council. Comerford aimed to bring a conservative Republican voice to the council, and he said he was not in favor of parole or commutations and wanted to see more evaluation of judicial appointments.

Both candidates said they wanted to increase the council’s transparency.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6272.
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