Race shaping up for 5th Hampden District seat

  • Patricia “Pat” Duffy CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


  • Holyoke City Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • Patrick Beaudry CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/17/2020 10:00:55 AM
Modified: 4/17/2020 10:00:42 AM

HOLYOKE — Barring an unexpected development, it appears all three candidates running in the Democratic primary for the 5th Hampden District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives will appear on the Sept. 1 ballot.

Patricia “Pat” Duffy, the longtime legislative aide for 5th Hampden District Rep. Aaron Vega, D-Holyoke, turned her certified signatures into the Secretary of Commonwealth’s office on Wednesday, and was informed that her name will appear on the ballot.

Both Patrick Beaudry, the manager of public affairs for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and David Bartley, Holyoke’s Ward 3 City Councilor, also have had their signatures certified by the board of registrar of voters.

Beaudry has submitted his signatures to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office and now needs to submit a receipt from the Ethics Commission to get on the ballot. Bartley, meanwhile, said that he intends to submit his signatures to meet the May 26 deadline.

Vega announced in January that he would not seek reelection to the 5th Hampden District seat that represents the city of Holyoke.

Bartley said he had to turn to the mail to collect his signatures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would mail nomination papers to supporters with a return envelope,” he said. “They would mail them back to my attention.”

Bartley said that sometimes people would return the papers with just signatures from family members, while other times the signatures of friends and neighbors were included. Some people also dropped them off at his law office.

Duffy said that she was campaigning door to door, but found herself short of signatures when it was determined that people needed to start practicing social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. In response, she put papers and pens on her front porch and on the porches of her supporters and people learned about it by word of mouth and social media.

“We got over the top,” Duffy said.

One of the people who provided their front porch for this was Vega, her boss.

“I’m really proud to have his support,” she said.

Beaudry said that he had collected enough signatures before he suspended his signature collection effort because of social distancing concerns.

“I’m just grateful that I didn’t have to put any of my fellow Holyokers in harms way to make sure I was on the ballot,” he said.

However, he said he wanted to continue collecting signatures into April to build more support for his campaign.

Both Bartley and Beaudry said that they got signatures from all seven of Holyoke’s wards.

“This campaign is all about Holyoke,” Bartley said. “Plain and simple.”

Beaudry said that getting signatures from all seven wards is “a representation of the citywide service that I want to deliver.”

He also said that he believes in the community organizer role of a state representative and that when he calls people asking for their support he has the 413Cares website up so he can connect them with resources and volunteer opportunities.

Duffy said that the pandemic has exposed the inequity that exists in the city of Holyoke.

“This is really making it impossible to ignore that,” she said.

Duffy also said that she’s looking forward to talking to everyone around the city about what their needs are now.

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


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