WILMINGTON, MA — The five candidates running for the 19th Middlesex State Representative seat took part in a relatively tame, issues-based debate on Wednesday night.
One of the questions asked by moderator Katie Lannan, of State House News, did bring to light a contrast between one of the candidates and his competitors.
Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury) was the only candidate who left open the possibility of working a second job while serving as State Representative.
“Unforutnately, unlike anyone else sitting on this panel, I have a couple of children that are ready to go to college. The pay that the State Representativ pays — like $68,000 — that’s not a lot to pay your mortgage and get your daughters through college,” said Kratman. “I plan on being a full-time representative doing everything that needs to be done. I’ll be out nights and weekends. But I may need to take a second job to help pay for my children’s college. I have to make sure I take care of my children and make sure they get a [good] education.”
Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury), Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington), Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington), and Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington) all answered that they would not take any part-time or full-time job in addition to their State Representative role.
“I know the time and dedication it takes [to be State Rep] and you simply cannot hold a second job and maintain the services the fine people of Wilmington and Tewksbury deserve,” responded Robertson. “In order to serve the entire district, you need to be available more than 40 hours a week. That’s why when I was Rep. Miceli’s Chief of Staff, I was working far more than 40 hours a week and I will continue to do so, with time for nothing else.”
“Folks, I’m retired. I’m not doing anything. If you elected me as your State Representative, that would be my full-time job. I’m not going to have a second job,” added McCoy.
“I will be a full-time legislator,” echoed O’Connell. “I do have an ownership interest in a real estate company here in town. I’m fortunate to co-own it with my sister. I’ve already transitioned my management responsibilities to her at this time.”
“It will absolutely be a full time position for me,” noted Johnson. “And my phone would be on at anytime.”
In addition, McCoy, a 28-year Selectman in Wilmington, and Kratman, a 4-year Selectman in Tewksbury, both promised to give up their respective Selectmen seats if they were to be elected State Representative.
Watch the debate, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below. Jump to the 1-hour, 18-minute mark to watch what was written above.
(NOTE: Look for more debate highlights in the coming days.)
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