Lesser to run for lieutenant governor

  • Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, represents the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District, which includes the towns of Belchertown and Granby. Taken at the studios of WGBY in Springfield on Friday, March 9, 2018. FILE PHOTO

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    Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, of the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District is interviewed by Carrie Saldo of WGBY in Springfield for the weekly "The State We're In" segment of the nightly program "Connecting Point" on Friday, March 9, 2018.

Staff Writer
Published: 1/4/2022 3:55:50 PM

NORTHAMPTON — State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, has thrown his hat into the ring for lieutenant governor.

In an emailed statement to supporters, he said he wants to fight to make Massachusetts more affordable, asserting that it’s “one of the most unequal places in the country.”

“It’s just too expensive — good housing is becoming out of reach, public transportation is outdated or nonexistent, and the cost of child care is crushing families,” he said.

“The status quo doesn’t work for anybody. It creates skyrocketing prices and gridlock in some places, and vacuums jobs and opportunity from others.”

Lesser is in his fourth term as a state senator representing the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District, which includes the Hampshire County communities of Granby and Belchertown.

Asked why he wants to run for lieutenant governor, Lesser said he knows what the job entails.

“The first obligation is to be a partner to the governor,” he said.

Lesser has been a prominent advocate for east-west rail, which would connect Boston to western Massachusetts via high-speed trains, and he continues to express passion for this issue.

“We’re right on the edge of getting east-west rail done,” he said.

Lesser said that the recently passed federal infrastructure bill has the ability to make east-west rail a reality, but that this will require a state partnership.

Lesser also authored the Student Loan Bill of Rights, which provided new protections for student borrowers in Massachusetts, as well as legislation that reduced the cost of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan through bulk purchasing.

Additionally, Lesser expressed a desire to provide more housing, better jobs and higher wages, and noted that he was the lead Senate author of the state’s COVID-19 rescue package.

Before serving in the Senate, Lesser was a staffer in the Obama administration. He also has served as a script consultant for the HBO comedy “Veep.”

A married father of three, Lesser, 36, is a graduate of both Harvard and Harvard Law School. He and his family live in Longmeadow, the same community he grew up in.

“I love western Mass.,” he said. “It’s where I grew up, it’s where my family is.”

The senator joins a field vying for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor that includes state Rep. Tami Gouveia, D-Acton, Boston businessman Bret Bero, Melrose resident Scott Donohue and state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield.

The primary election is expected to be held in September, but the date has not been firmed up.

Both Hinds and Lesser are state senators who represent western Massachusetts, and Hinds has already secured the endorsements of many of the region’s prominent elected officials, including state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, state Rep. Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, and Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

Lesser, however, said he is unconcerned that he and Hinds hail from the same part of the state.

“It’s a long campaign,” he said. “It’s not about us — it’s about the communities in the state.”

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

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