(There are two GOP Canididates for this seat. Mike Valanzola and James Ehrhard. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
Mass State Senator Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) announced today that he will be retiring from the State Senate.
Brewer’s retirement leaves open one of the most Republican districts in the state, and gives the GOP perhaps their best shot at picking up a seat in the State Senate. The district is based in Western Worcester County, an area the GOP has had a great deal of success in of late.
The district has been in Democratic hands since the mid-1950’s, when the GOP last held a majority in the State Senate. Brewer had won a number of easy re-elections since 1996, but the conservative Democratic history of this seat has slowly given way to some pretty solidly Republican results of late.
2012 President- Obama 49% Romney 49%
2012 Senate- Brown 59% Warren 41%
2010 Governor- Baker 51% Patrick 36%
2010 Senate- Brown 65% Coakley 34%
2008 President- Obama 51% McCain 46%
There are already two Republicans running for the district, both members of the elected Tantasqua Regional School District Committee.
Lawyer James Ehrhard (R-Sturbridge), and a financial analyst for EMC Corp. Mike Valanzola (R-Wales).
In addition, the district is home to State Representatives Todd Smola (R-Palmer) and Peter Durant (R-Spencer) who may take a look at the race, but have endorsed Valanzola and Ehrhard respectively.
The Democratic bench pretty much begins and ends with State Representative Anne Gobi (D-Barre). She has held down one of the most conservative State Rep districts in the state with ease, one that makes up the core of this district. Should she run, she will be tough to beat, but would give the GOP the opportunity to pick up her very competitive House district.
With the open 12th Worcester State Rep district, former State Rep. Rich Bastien (R-Garnder) running to re-capture his former seat, Athol Selectwoman Susannah Whipps Lee going for a re-match with Rep. Andrews, Marlboro City Councilor Matt Elder challenging Rep. Gregoire, Karyn Polito running for Lt. Governor and numerous other competitive area legislative districts (Here’s looking at you Sens. Moore, Moore, Flanagan and Reps. DiNatale, Rosa, Fernandes, Dikema, Roy), Central Mass is looking to be a busy place in 2014.