Holyoke’s Kirstin Beatty seeks 5th Hampden District seat


Staff Writer
Published: 4/27/2020 6:33:21 PM

HOLYOKE — Another candidate plans to join the race for the 5th Hampden District seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives becoming the fourth person to announce their candidacy. 

Kirstin Beatty is the co-director of the environmental advocacy group Last Tree Laws and a former English teacher.  She said she has begun the process of collecting signatures to appear on the ballot ahead of a May 5 deadline to file those signatures. 

Beatty, who gave her age as mid-40s, said that her advocacy work on Beacon Hill has shown her that legislation being passed in the State House could be improved.

“I think you have to take a look at the bills closely and see who is behind the bills, and I think many of the bills that go forward are put forward by (the American Legislative Exchange Council) and other groups who are out there to promote industry and not people,” she said.

The 5th Hampden District seat up for grabs after its current occupant, state Rep. Aaron Vega, announced in January he would not seek re-election to a fifth term in the district that represents the city of Holyoke.  

There are three other candidates running for the seat: Patricia “Pat” Duffy, Vega's longtime legislative aide; Patrick Beaudry, the manager of public affairs for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; and David Bartley, Holyoke’s Ward 3 City Councilor.

The state’s highest court recently extended the deadline to submit signatures to a local election clerk from April 28 to May 5, given the difficulties of collecting signatures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of signatures needed also has been cut from 150 to 75 for state House candidates, and candidates are allowed to file those signatures electronically.

Beatty said she is somewhat concerned about collecting the necessary signatures in time but has pushed forward with the effort anyway.

Beatty said her first priority, if elected, would be responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

“I would like to make sure that any help is equitable, that it isn’t just going toward propping up giant businesses but helping small business and helping individuals throughout the community,” she said.

Beatty has previously advocated for issues such as ranked-choice voting, privacy and regulating technology such as wireless infrastructure. She said she would like to see education improved in the state, noting that she has put forward legislation that would reduce standardized MCAS testing in the state.

“I don’t know about the other candidates enough to say the kind of people they are, but I know who I am and I know that I’m a caring person and that I try to do the right thing,” she said.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.
Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Valley Advocate Newsletter
Daily Hampshire Gazette Dining & Entertainment


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy