Opinion: Great choices abound in Sept. 9 Mass. primary

To the editor:

The statewide primary comes early this year – Sept. 9 — and I encourage every Westporter to get to the polls. There are more open seats than ever and plenty of new and exciting choices, especially on the Democratic side, so this is our chance to make a big difference in the shape of state government. And don’t be fooled — the best candidates this year are not necessarily the career politicians or those who names are a household word.  For example, here are my favorites:

• Don Berwick for governor — Don is new to politics but not new to public engagement or setting (and meeting) big goals. A pediatrician by training, he founded his own non-profit to focus on improving health care delivery and affordability world-wide. He was then tapped by President Obama to head up the Medicare Administration.  A self-described “improver,” Don has devoted his entire life to bettering the lives of others. His vision for Massachusetts is bold, progressive and realistic.  He is the only candidate for governor of either party to oppose bringing casinos to Massachusetts. More about Don at www.donberwickforgovernor.com

• Mike Lake for lieutenant governor — Many ask why bother to have a Lt. Gov.? Mike Lake is the one candidate who could actually make the office an asset instead of an appendix.  A summa *** laude graduate of Northeastern, he was special advisor to President Clinton and the prime minister of Ireland before taking the helm of the World Class Cities Partnership designed to bring best practices to municipal government in the US and around the world.  He’s the pick of our Sen. Mike Rodrigues and Governor and Kitty Dukakis. www.electmikelake.com

• Maura Healy for attorney general —  Wow! A legal scholar who was also chosen to lead her Harvard women’s varsity as point guard and team captain (her role model Bob Cousy just endorsed her) and who has served in several top leadership positions with the Attorney General’s Office, Maura has devoted her entire legal career to defending the public’s rights and holding those who break the law accountable for their actions. Maura has taken and won landmark cases all the way to the US Supreme Court to ensure justice for all the people of Massachusetts.  Unlike her opponent, Mauraopposes the casino industry’s attempt to gain a foothold in our state. www.maurahealy.com

Tom Conroy for treasurer — Tom is a MetroWest financial professional who decided to run for the House of Representatives in 2006 to bring his 16 years of financial, economic and risk management experience and progressive philosophyto bear in helping improve how our state government operates. He is a classic example of the citizen-turned-public servant (no wonder he is our own Rep. Paul Schmid’s pick) whose experience and leadership in both the public and private sector fit the job of state treasurer perfectly. www.tomconroy.org

So please, choose wisely and, whatever you decide, vote on Sept.9.

Paul M. Stein

Westport

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