WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).
Below, in his own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury).
#1) Why do you want to be our State Representative? (submitted by Mary Kiesinger of Wilmington)
In 2015 after years of volunteering on many local committees I decided to run for the Tewksbury Board of Selectman. I served as Clerk, Vice Chair and last year as Chairman for the Board of Selectman and was recently re-elected in April. Prior to his passing Representative Miceli wrote a wonderful endorsement letter for my re-election to the Board of Selectman as I believe we both shared a number of the same ideas of how to work to make our communities a better place for all who live here and keep working to make them even better.
I was approached by many residents who requested that I think about running for Jim’s seat. As we all know there is no one who can replace Jim but after discussing with my family, friends and supporters I decided that we need someone at the State House who will continue to care and listen to the residents in our communities. Most people that know me as a hard working person and I always make myself available to constituents. I’m not someone who just shows up on Election Day as I am constantly meeting with community groups, attending town or local meetings or volunteering at events such as the annual Police Bicycle Rodeo, National Night Out, The Intergenerational cookout at the senior center, the 911 Ceremony or Safe Halloween Event.
If elected I would focus on continuing my work promoting economic development in our communities which I believed is tied to much needed roadway improvements on Route 38. This is a major problem for both Tewksbury & Wilmington as everyone knows the problems we have during the morning and evening commute as well as on the weekends. We also need more elderly and family affordable housing. The people who helped build and shape our communities as well as our children are having a hard time staying in the Town that they love with the rising price of home values and taxes. I also work on and support legislation to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid crisis that all community are facing. Prescription drugs have led to addiction throughout our commonwealth and resources police, fire and treatment centers have struggled keeping up with this epidemic. Town resources have been drained and will continue to grow if we do not hold the people responsible for creating this addiction. Tewksbury and a number of other Massachusetts City and Towns have joined a national movement suing pharmaceutical companies and distributors for municipal costs resulting in the opioid abuse epidemic.
My wife, Denise, and I moved to the community almost 20 years ago and knew immediately that this is where we wanted raise our family. I am proud to say that we have three children who are currently attending or have graduated from the Tewksbury school system. Our son Mark attended school in Tewksbury, graduated from Shawsheen Technical High School and Rivier University with a degree in criminal justice, and works for a local police department. He recently married and his wife Bianca is a nurse in a local hospital. Our daughter Nora is a sophomore at Tewksbury High Memorial School and our youngest daughter Burke is in the 8th grade at the Wynn Middle School.
#2) Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate? Please describe your political ideology. (submitted by Danielle Driscoll of Tewksbury)
I am a member of the Tewksbury Democratic Committee and consider myself a moderate democrat. I believe there is no such thing as a bad idea and would be willing to work with both Democrats and Republicans to do what is best for the residents of Tewksbury and Wilmington.
(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)
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