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ELECTION 2011: State Rep. Candidate Q & A With John Lawn

Learn about John Lawn!

With days to go until the Tuesday, April 12 primary election, Patch recently asked John Lawn, a Watertown Democratic candidate for the 10th Middlesex District state representative seat, about why he is running for the seat. Check out his email responses below.

The general election will be held Tuesday, May 10 and its winner will replace former State Rep. Peter Koutoujian, who was appointed Middlesex County Sheriff earlier this year. 

Patch is planning to post stories on all five candidates, pending submission of information by each candidate. 

Look for tomorrow's candidate candidate Q & A at 6 a.m. Check out our earlier video profile and Q&A on and .

John Lawn (To view a video of Lawn, click on the photo box to the right.)

Age: 42

Jobs: I have a diversified background in financial services and as a small business owner. I worked for over 11 years for Fidelity Investments in many different roles and was a trader on the Boston Stock Exchange for Fidelity until being laid off in 2002 after the stock market correction.

I then worked for a small real estate business before opening Charles River Real Estate, Inc. in 2004. The challenges of opening a small business, start up costs, regulations and community outreach were all a learning experience. In 2005, I ran a successful campaign for Town Council in Watertown. I have been serving for six years as the District D Councilor.

Education: I attended Rosary Academy for kindergarten, Saint Patricks Grammar and High School graduating in 1987. I then attended Merrimack College and graduated in 1991 with a double major in Political Science and Sociology.

Family: My wife Shannon and I have five children: Katherine, 11, Jack, 9, and six-year old triplets: Liam, Maeve and Owen.

Personal Activities: My favorite personal activity is being with my family.

Why is Lawn Running for State Rep? I am running because I am a father, a husband, a son, a small business owner, a coach and a town councilor. I have the experience of being laid off as well as employing people in our community. I want to bring all of that experience to Beacon Hill and serve my community in the House of Representatives.

What Issues would Lawn work on as a state representative? My three biggest issues:

  • Job Creation: Having the experience of being laid off with 2 young children at the time is something that I will never forget. I will work with other legislators to be creative so that others do not have to experience the loss of a job. Supporting small business is the key to creating local jobs and getting our economy back on track.
  • Health Care: Being in municipal government has provided me with a solid understanding of our biggest problem facing all of our communities: healthcare. The rise healthcare costs have slowly destroyed the ability of municipalities to deliver basic services. We need to have everything on the table, from a single payer system to dealing with our large private insurance companies. We need to reform healthcare and need to work together so this happens.
  • Cutting Wasteful Spending: I, as a taxpayer, have been outraged with the wasteful spending that has gone on in state government. From the probation department to a recent investigation that found Massport parking attendants are being paid over $100,000. We need to break down the state budget line by line and cut wasteful spending.

Would Lawn keep his town council seat if elected as state representative? I would finish my term and not run for re-election. I believe the job as state rep. needs to be full time to be effective. I will always be involved locally.

Lawn's Biggest Strength and Weakness? I think that the one of my strongest assets is that I am able to see the big picture in a situation. The worst thing about me is that I can see the big picture in a situation.

This is the best thing because I can remove myself from the emotion of a decision that needs to be made and act accordingly. It is a bad thing because I often see the conclusion quicker than the other participants in a project and that can cause frustration sometimes amongst them. I need to remind myself that I need to be more patient.

What makes Lawn tick? What are his inspirations? Caring about my family, friends and community is what drives me. My only aspirations is to leave this world a better place. I know I don't have a magic wand and times are difficult but I want to try and help us all get through this as best we can.

How would Lawn work to improve economy? I would close tax loopholes for corporations and support small business. We need transparency in the tax credits that have been given out so that we know that we are investing in businesses that are creating jobs.

How would Lawn deal with health care costs? As I mentioned, I would work with others in the legislature and look at all options including a single payer system and also work with private insurers to find ways to stop these out of control increases in healthcare.

How would Lawn work to create a balanced budget? Cut all unnecessary spending. Go through the state budget one line at a time and create a list of priorities that we need to focus on.

We must restore faith in the taxpayer in our  state government. We have seen a state probation department's spending which was out of control. We need to reform all agencies so that we can spend every tax dollar wisely. I will be a leader in the state house for transparency in our state budget!

10th Middlesex District Citizen April 07, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Concerned Citizen: I agree, John's wasteful spending is obvious. I've seen his billboard in Waltham and all the wasteful money he has spent on just this campaign alone. Are his 5 children being left behind with these useless efforts? I certainly don't think he is getting any bang for his buck.
Ryan Grannan-Doll April 07, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Civil discourse! I love it!
Sonny Beaches April 07, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Civil discourse indeed! Let's leave the kids out of this folks. Lawn is spending serious money that is most likely coming from the local Democratic Party. It's highly unlikely that he will win this election so the pols must be buying him some visibility for a future race...stay tuned. That being said I find it odd that Watertown Police Department signage equipment is being used to urge Watertown residents to vote in the primary election. I have never seen this before. Could the get out the vote effort for Watertown's favorite son be related to the fact that John's Lawns brother is a police lieutenant in Watertown?
Sonny Beaches April 15, 2011 at 04:39 PM
Uh Boston Rob if you are indeed Boston Rob why the sudden interest in Watertown? Yes Victory Field is a dump but major streets are in urgent need of repair. Why borrow 3 million to fix a field nobody uses and ignore the needed street repairs. You would think that your favorite candidate would support road repair, given how often he uses the Watertown streets to travel to Waltham to celebrate.
Sonny Beaches April 16, 2011 at 11:17 AM
uh Bostonrob, you sure spend a lot of time in the 'burbs for a Bostonrob. But at least your'e bright enough to admit that Watertown roads are in crap shape. Ya gotta wonder why that lardass Gerry Mee doesn't spend more of the money he has stashed in the DPW budget on road repair. It would make it a lot easier for him and his crews to get to the Dunkin'. Oh and just so you know, Sandy Cheeks is my significant other, she spends a lot on time on the Beaches if you get my drift. BTW who is "Sonny Beacbes" ? Or did you attend WHS?

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