Focused strategy aided Sabadosa

  • A taped up voter count on the walls of Lindsay Sabadosa's office the day after the elections. Sabadosa and her campaign intern, Laura Britton work on scheduling, and thanking supporters at Sabadosa's office in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lindsay Sabadosa takes calls while she and her campaign intern, Laura Britton, work on scheduling and thanking supporters Wednesday at Sabadosa’s office in Northampton. Sabadosa won the Democratic primary election in the 1st Hampshire District, Tuesday. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lindsay Sabadosa and her campaign intern, Laura Britton work on scheduling, and thanking supporters at Sabadosa's office in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lindsay Sabadosa takes calls while she and her campaign intern, Laura Britton, work on scheduling and thanking supporters at Sabadosa’s Northampton office, Wednesday. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lindsay Sabadosa and her campaign intern, Laura Britton work on scheduling, and thanking supporters at Sabadosa's office in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lindsay Sabadosa takes calls while she and her campaign intern, Laura Britton work on scheduling, and thanking supporters at Sabadosa's office in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lindsay Sabadosa takes calls while she and her campaign intern, Laura Britton work on scheduling, and thanking supporters at Sabadosa's office in Northampton the day after the elections. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 9/6/2018 12:24:55 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Lindsay Sabadosa, 37, felt confident going into Tuesday’s primary election for the 1st Hampshire District in the Massachusetts House.

However, the results would exceed even her expectations.

In a race that a number of political commentators had said would be close, Sabadosa came through with a decisive victory, winning the district with 6,429 votes to 4,482 votes for her opponent, Diana Szynal, or about 59 to 41 percent. Her margin of victory came thanks to a commanding performance in Northampton, according to unofficial results.

Such a victory was the fruition of an extensive effort by the Sabadosa campaign that included making 23,925 voter contacts and knocking on more than 14,000 doors.

Sabadosa, a Northampton translator and women’s rights advocate who helped found the Pioneer Valley Women’s March, faced off against Szynal of Hatfield, who was the district director for the late Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton.

The 1st Hampshire District seat was left vacant in February following the death of Kocot from cancer.

Sabadosa focused her campaign on how she would push progressive polices on Beacon Hill, while Szynal emphasized her history of delivering constituent services and her connection with Kocot.

In the end, Sabadosa’s pitch proved to be more persuasive.

Sabadosa said her campaign focused its efforts on five wards in Northampton, Wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; with Bernie Sanders’ performance there in the 2016 presidential primary being a major factor in their targeting.

“We knew what wards we were gonna do well in,” Sabadosa said. “We knew what our message was.”

She said this bore out when the campaign started to canvass.

“We went back to those wards over and over and over, and over,” she said.

Sabadosa said her campaign also canvassed Ward 6 and 7, and hoped to get a good chunk of the votes there.

In the course of Sabadosa’s personal canvassing she also came face to face, while on foot, with a mama bear and her cubs.

“I couldn’t get back down the driveway because the mama bear was in the driveway,” Sabadosa said.

She was rescued by a campaign worker driving up to get her.

Every community in the district, which consists of Northampton, Westhampton, Hatfield, Southampton and Montgomery, was canvassed by the Sabadosa campaign with the exception of Montgomery, where the clerk said people would not like to be canvassed. Instead, given the community’s small size, Sabadosa sent handwritten notes to Montgomery voters.

Sabadosa said she felt good about Wards 6 and 7 in Northampton after talking to people there on election day.

“You definitely get a feeling during the day of how voters are going,” said Sabadosa, who said she still wasn’t expecting to win them.

In the end Sabadosa would carry every ward in Northampton, winning the city by nearly 2,500 votes.

In terms of what she was surprised by on election night, Sabadosa cited winning Montgomery and Westhampton, each by two votes. She also said that doing well in the towns outside Northampton was important to her, and that she didn’t want them to be neglected.

Sabadosa got about 25 percent of the vote in Hatfield, which she said was her campaign’s goal, while she lost Southampton by a margin that was far less steep.

On constituent services, Sabadosa said that all of her literature has her phone number on it, and that every message her campaign left on people’s answering machines contained it as well.

“Most of the district has my phone number,” she said. “They can call. They should call.”

Sabadosa has no general election opponent. However, she said she would continue to campaign so that everyone in the district can feel heard. She said it was also important to make sure that people who didn’t vote for her feel represented.

Wednesday was dominated by phone calls, including to members of the western Massachusetts delegation. She also said that the campaign had a lot of volunteers to thank.

Sabadosa said that she wants a Medicare for All caucus at the Statehouse.

Asked how she would push through items like single-payer health care and the Safe Communities Act, given House leadership, she noted developments across the state in primaries on Tuesday, including the defeat of Jeff Sanchez, the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Sabadosa also said she had had a good conversation with Speaker Robert DeLeo the previous night.

“I think that changes are afoot,” she said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

© 2018 Daily Hampshire Gazette