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Senator Knapik to resign, leaving just three Republicans in the Massachusetts Senate.

Michael Knapik at his swearing-in ceremony in 2001.
Michael Knapik at his swearing-in ceremony in 2001.Associated press/file

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The tiny Republican caucus in the Massachusetts Senate, which could already fit comfortably in a compact car, is getting even smaller.

Senator Michael R. Knapik said Monday that he is resigning to take a hometown job at Westfield State University, leaving just three Republicans in the 40-member upper chamber on Beacon Hill.

“This is pretty treacherous territory in terms of the numbers we’re at now,” said Senator Robert L. Hedlund, who was one of 16 Republicans when he was first elected to the Senate in 1991. “It’s kind of ridiculous, actually.”

When Knapik steps down Friday, it will be even harder for his three remaining Republican colleagues to exert any influence, let alone keep an eye on every committee hearing and session called by Democrats.

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