Baker leaves 1st Franklin District race, throws support behind Blais

  • Andrew Baker File photo

Published: 7/6/2018 11:11:05 AM

SHELBURNE FALLS — Shelburne Selectman Andrew Baker announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race for the 1st Franklin District state representative’s seat being vacated by Stephen Kulik of Worthington. 

“I’m declaring my independence,” he wrote in a statement sent to news organizations late in the evening of July 4. “After serious consideration and consultation with my family, I have decided to end my campaign for state representative.”

Baker wrote he will focus on his work with Shelburne’s Selectboard. 

“There is a lot of work to do on our town highway, library, energy efficiency and village improvement projects,” Baker wrote.

Baker thanked the more than 400 people in all 19 towns in the 1st Franklin District who signed his nomination papers and the seven other Democratic candidates in the race. He is throwing his support behind candidate Natalie Blais.

“I’ve seen all the candidates up close and have concluded that Natalie Blais offers the best fit to represent the 1st Franklin District at this time,” Baker wrote. “She has strong qualifications and is putting together a strong campaign. And if the voters agree, they will have the added benefit of increasing the number of women serving in the state Legislature.”

“I am extremely thankful for Andrew’s support and grateful for his years of public service to our region,” Blais said. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside him and his supporters to build strong, healthy, connected communities across the Massachusetts 1st Franklin District.”

Baker is a special projects coordinator for the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, doing job placement coaching for the Manufacturing Skills Initiative, which coordinates with Greenfield Community College, Franklin County Technical School and area manufacturers.

The 1st Franklin District covers 19 towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties as well as the town of Chester in Hampden County.

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