What are Your Expectations for Mike Barrett as Concord's New State Senator?
A Boston Phoenix blog post casts the Lexington Democrat as ‘an unapologetic liberal’ committed to environmental gains. But what are your expectations from the Third Middlesex District's incoming state Senator?
In the leafy suburbs of the Third Middlsex District, which includes Waltham, quite a bit of attention was paid to the race for the state Senate seat claimed by Mike Barrett, the Lexington Democrat replacing retiring state Sen. Susan Fargo.
So much so in fact that, in the lead up to Election Day, incumbent state Sen. Ken Donnelly, an Arlington Democrat, joked he was Lexington's other candidate for state Senate, despite the fact that his Fourth Middlesex District includes six Lexington precincts compared to the three in the Third.
But for those looking at the bigger picture, it seems the Third Middlesex race—with its densely populated Democratic primary and polar opposites facing off in the general election—may have been lost in the shuffle of higher profile races, like former Gov. Mitt Romney’s run for the presidency and the hotly contested Brown-Warren battle for U.S. Senate.
Not so any more.
Earlier this week, Boston Phoenix political writer David Bernstein posted a “Meet the Freshman class” piece to his Talking Politics blog. In it, he features three incoming state Senators who claimed open seats and calls them “The Young Gun,” “The Returning Liberal” and “The Leslie Knope.”
An aside: Supporters of Barrett likely will be pleased to hear he’s not the Leslie Knope. Might be too early to tell, though, if he’s a Ron Swanson, but we’ll let you be the judge of that.
With his election to the Third Middlesex state Senate seat, Barrett returns to the state Senate after 18 years in the private sector. He bested four other area Dems in the primary and then Chelmsford Republican Sandi Martinez on Nov. 6. It’s also worth noting he declared his candidacy before Fargo, a Lincoln Democrat, announced her retirement plans.
Unsurprisingly, Bernstein, known for his smarts and snark, casts Barrett as the “Returning Liberal.” He also hits on some of Barrett’s campaign points, like environmental leadership, cost containment and a gas tax.
Barrett is also committed to environmental gains – he is having solar panels installed on his own house – and believes that voters are ahead of the state government in recognizing the importance of the issue.
“Global warming and climate change are much more potent to working-class and middle-class people than you might think,” Barrett says. “The environmental constituency in Massachusetts doesn’t know its own strength.”
Bernstein also writes that he expects Barrett “to find common cause with liberal nearby-district senators,” including Acton Democrat Jamie Eldridge and Patricia Jehlen of Medford.
With that in mind, we want to know, What do you expect out of Mike Barrett as your incoming state Senator?