Lindsay Sabadosa to run for Kocot’s seat

  • Democrat Lindsay Sabadosa is running for the seat formerly held by state Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton. SUBMITTED PHOTO

@BeraDunau
Published: 3/18/2018 11:46:39 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The director of the Pioneer Valley Women’s March has announced her candidacy for the 1st Hampshire District in the Massachusetts House.

Democrat Lindsay Sabadosa informed the Gazette on Sunday night that she wants to bring a community organizer’s energy and expertise to the legislative process.

“We are often told that Massachusetts is a progressive state,” said Sabadosa. “But I think we can do better.”

State Rep. Peter Kocot, D-Northampton, the district’s longtime representative, died after a battle with cancer last month. Thus far, two other Democrats have announced their intent to vie for his seat: Diana Szynal, 51, Kocot’s district director, and Ryan O’Donnell, 38, president of the Northampton City Council.

Sabadosa, 37, of Northampton, works as a self-employed translator of legal/financial documents and is the mother of an 11-year-old daughter. She said that she has been an activist for a long time, particularly on issues involving immigration, reproductive rights and health care.

Indeed, she said she organized her first protest at the age of 9, against the closure of the branch library in Westfield. Her efforts won her a meeting with the mayor.

“Which was slightly terrifying as a 9-year-old,” said Sabadosa.

Sabadosa said she will be taking out papers to run on Monday, and that she has a good group of volunteers backing her campaign.

“I have a really amazing team,” she said.

It’s the first time she has run for public office.

“I believe you run for the office you want to hold,” she said.

She also said that she would never have run against Kocot.

“Representative Kocot was a true asset to our community,” she said.

She also noted that he was a member of the House’s progressive caucus. Sabadosa said she worked with Kocot to move Massachusetts toward Medicare for all, and she spoke passionately in favor of bringing single-payer health care to Massachusetts.

“It’s the only way we can create an economically sustainable health care system for our residents,” she said. The current health care system, she added, is a leading contributor to economic inequality.

Sabadosa also expressed support for moving Massachusetts to 100 percent green energy, and said that she would like to reform the commonwealth’s school funding formula.

“It is absolutely not fair,” she said.

A supporter of East-West rail, Sabadosa said that she thinks it will truly stimulate the economy. She also backs increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and collected signatures for Raise Up Massachusetts to put such a measure on this year’s ballot, as well as signatures for a ballot question would establish paid family and medical leave in the commonwealth.

Sabadosa backs a bill in the Legislature that would mandate that public schools in Massachusetts offer medically accurate sex education.

On balancing her activism, family and work duties, Sabadosa noted that she is a runner, and that she mostly runs half-marathons.

“I have a ridiculous amount of energy,” she said.

The 1st Hampshire District consists of Northampton, Westhampton, Southampton and Hatfield in Hampshire County, as well as Montgomery in Hampden County. The state primary is scheduled for Sept. 4, 2018.

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




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