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A Pat on the Back to Senator Timilty

October 12, 2009

In 2008, Walpole was lucky in that both candidates for our state senate district were from our town, even though they hailed from opposing political parties. Both James Timilty, the incumbent Democrat who has served Walpole since 2004, and Jon Rockwood, a Republican who has been our dedicated town moderator year after year, were credible candidates with incredible qualifications.

That was why I know Walpole voters found it so difficult to choose between the two state senate candidates in last year’s election. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Senator Timilty and for Mr. Rockwood.

This year, after an eventful spring and summer during which the state legislature and the governor rammed through reforms and tax increases at a rapid pace, and dealt with a crisis involving a US Senate seat, I am proud to call Jim Timilty my state senator. While he is a Democrat, he went against his own party to vote NO to an increase in the Massachusetts sales tax. Perhaps realizing that the constituents in his hometown, the Republican Walpole, would not be pleased with him, or maybe understanding the economic impact raising taxes would have, Timilty had the courage to stand firm against his party and vote in opposition.

Then, in September, Timilty again bucked his own party and voted no to permitting the governor to appoint an interim US Senator following the untimely death of Sen. Ted Kennedy. While many in his party felt that a new senator was needed urgently, some, like Timilty, knew that it was not necessary or fair to appoint someone to the US Senate simply because of the circumstances (It is worth noting that because Timilty was elected in 2004, he was not in the state senate when the original vote forbidding the governor from appointing US Senators was approved).

Timilty’s voting record has evidenced that he is fairly moderate, which I suspect puts him in line with the views of many voters in his district, and in Walpole. His record will also mean that it may be difficult for the state GOP to run a formidable candidate against him next year.

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