TEWKSBURY, MA — State Representative candidate Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury) recently held his campaign kick-off rally at the Tewksbury Country Club.
The event, emceed by Tewksbury School Committee member Keith Sullivan, saw Tewksbury’s State Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover) and neighboring State Representative Dave Nangle (D-Lowell) endorse Kratman.
“The reason Mark will be the best State Representative, bar none, is because Mark is Tewksbury. Mark goes to EVERYTHING in Tewksbury. Mark is at every single event for the Knights [of Columbus]. For the Lions. For the Sons of Italy. For the Elks. For the Patriotic Committee. He’s so invested in this town and cares so much about this town,” said L’Italien. “And because he works for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, he understands how to get things done. He understands how things are funded… He will be a great State Representative. It was a no-brainer to endorse Mark. He’ll get the work done and take care of all of you… He’ll be ready on Day #1.”
“I have mixed feelings — I want Mark to be State Rep, but I don’t want him to leave Mass Highway,” joked Nangle. “You call Mark — day or night, weekends — he’s there with an answer. He’s there to help… He’s a genuine guy… Mark will fit in and do a great job. Mark knows he has some shoes to fill. Without any doubt, he’s the man to fill them.”
Tewksbury’s former State Senator Barry Finegold, who is running for his old seat, was also in attendance.
“Mark Kratman is always there to lend a helping hand when he can,” said Sullivan. “He’s normally the first one to show up and quite often the last one to leave. He cares deeply about people and he cares about his community. That’s why he’ll be the best choice for State Representative in the 19th District. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll show the same level of dedication and commitment to the residents of Wilmington just as he’s done here in Tewksbury.”
“Because of his vast experience, Mark is used to working with a very diverse group of people and he can get things done. That experience will be an asset to everyone [in the district] when he’s elected to represent the 19th District,” continued Sullivan. “Mark really gets out in the community to listen and hear what the issues really are. He’s honest and sincere, very level-headed, and deliberate in his thought process… He’ll always do what’s in the best interest of his constituents.”
Kratman then addressed the crowd for approximately 10 minutes, focusing his remarks on economic development and efforts to curb the opioid epidemic.
“Economic development and infrastructure need to happen hand-in-hand… You can’t keep building without infrastructure improvements,” said Kratman, who has served as a legislative liaison for Mass Highway for the past 20 years. He touted some of the infrastructure structure projects he successfully fought for as Selectman over the past four years, including a multi-year process to repave Route 38 and upcoming intersection improvements at the dangerous Salem Road/South Street intersection.
“We need to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable. That’s who should be paying for efforts [to help those suffering from addiction]… We need to get people help and we need to hold those selling the drugs accountable,” said Kratman.
“We send a lot of tax dollars to the State House, but not enough is coming back to Tewksbury and Wilmington,” added Kratman. “I’ll talk to anybody up there — whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat. The Speaker, Governor and Lt. Governor all know me by name… We need someone who is going to be a fighter. Someone who is going to argue for Tewksbury and Wilmington.”
Kratman noted he would oppose any funding cuts to Tewksbury State Hospital, the town’s largest employer. He also touted several recent endorsements, including the Building Wreckers Local 1421, SEIU Local 509, and the Tewksbury Fire Fighters Union. Kratman pledged to take care of the first responders who take care of you.
“If you call me, I’ll pick up the phone. You won’t have to call twice. I’ll be responsive,” stressed Kratman. “I’ll go up to fight for what you want. Talk to me. Tell me what your needs are. I’ll go up and make sure it happens.”
An estimated 200 supporters attended the rally, held on Thursday, June 28.
Below are a few photos from the rally, courtesy of the Kratman campaign:
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