The debate agreement between Democratic US Senate candidates Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch calls for six debates across the state including, for the first time since 2002, one in the central Massachusetts city of Worcester. For the last several cycles there have been debates in Lowell, Springfield, the South Coast, and of course, Boston. Somehow Worcester and the central part of the state has been ignored for over a decade.
In addition to Worcester, the cities of Lowell, Boston, New Bedford, and Springfield will host debates between the two candidates for US Senate.
During the 2012 campaign for US Senate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown the Worcester Telegram and Gazette published a strongly opinionated column from the Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty on why they should host debates:
A debate between these two candidates in Central Massachusetts would recognize the importance of the region to the commonwealth and in the general election this fall.
Our economic, medical research, educational, and cultural contributions play a significant role in the health and competitiveness of the state and in our reputation on the national stage. Forbes has ranked Worcester as one of the best cities for business and careers, the second-happiest city in the nation to work and the ninth most livable city in America. The voters deserve the opportunity to host a debate for these reasons alone.
So now that Worcester is finally getting the attention it deserves what other regions of the state are being ignored? Where should the sixth debate be held?
Here are three possible locations for a sixth debate that immediately come to mind:
Cape Cod has not been home to a major debate in recent memory and is a huge economic engine for the state, particularly when it comes to tourism. Surely there are some suitable venues near Route 6 that could host the candidates. The Cape is a mixed region politically as it is split between blue and red towns.
The South Shore, a region that's home to the largest mall in the state, the South Shore Plaza, and the largest town by area, Plymouth. The South Shore is one of the more conservative pockets of the state, consistently voting for Republicans in statewide elections over Democrats.
Pittsfield is an hour west of Springfield but for some reason we so often forget that the state keeps going after junction of the Masspike and 91. It is the biggest city in the most rural part of the Commonwealth and a gateway of sorts for the Berkshires.
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