Steven Hall Challenges Two-Term Incumbent Anne Gobi For Mass. State Senate Seat
There's just one state Senate race involving towns in western Massachusetts on Election Day: the district that includes parts of eastern Hampden and Hampshire Counties.
Two-term Democratic incumbent Anne Gobi faces Republican Steven Hall. The winner will have the challenge of representing more than two dozen communities in four different counties.
Anne Gobi, who lives in Spencer, was a state representative for more than a decade before she was elected to the state Senate in 2014. Hall is a nursing home consultant from Sturbridge.
During a recent debate on WWLP TV, Hall said he's running for office "because I'm concerned over the state of health care and education, over the condition of our roads, over our high taxes," Hall said.
Hall also argued the district needs someone who would go along with Republican Governor Charlie Baker when it comes to supporting spending cuts.
Gobi didn't agree.
"When it comes to veto overrides, when there are things for the district, you bet I'm going to make sure that we override," she said.
Such as earmarked funding for local economic development, or state parks, which Gobi mentioned specfically during her answer.
"That's what a state senator is supposed to do: to be there to work for their district," Gobi said.
Gobi and Hall agreed that east-west rail service could be an economic driver for the area. But Hall said too much is being spent to study the issue.
The pair shared common ground on the delayed rollout of legal marijuana.
On the scandal involving Massachusetts State Police troopers and overtime pay, Gobi said the department's head, Kerry Gilpin, has done a good job managing the situation.
"Bringing in an outside person to look at how it is run, to go through all of the books -- and I think that is needed," Gobi said.
Hall said the scandal raises a red flag about what else might be going on in state government.
"It's really troubling that there are these folks who think that they can get away with what they get away with," Hall said. "If there's this much abuse with our law enforcement officers, what else is going on throughout the state?"
As expected for a challenger, Hall's campaign fundraising has fallen short of Gobi's. She's raised more than three times as much money this cycle.
Take a look at the NEPR Massachusetts General Election Voter Guide 2018.