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Walpole back with Lynch

November 15, 2011

Updated with new information Wednesday, 11/16/11 2:35 PM

Yesterday, Walpole state representatives Lou Kafka, John Rogers, and Paul McMurtry filed an amendment in the state legislature to the redistricting proposal for Massachusetts that put Walpole back into Stephen Lynch’s Congressional District for the next ten years (at least.) The amendment passed.

Last week, the state legislature’s redistricting committee had proposed putting Walpole into Barney Frank’s 4th Congressional district. The 4th district was expected to be more conservative than before, including conservative Walpole, so Frank’s re-election chances may have been slimmer. But now he won’t have to worry about Walpole, as it is now being put into the more liberal 8th district with Lynch.

Lynch was already Walpole’s representative since his election in a 2001 special election.

Yesterday, 180 opined that it was disconcerting that the entire months-long redistricting process has just been erased with a single amendment within a few hours based on the personal preferences of Walpole’s three Democratic state representatives. But 180 said more information would be provided, and here it is:

Apparently Rogers, Kafka, and McMurtry filed the amendment in response to an overwhelming number of Walpole residents who wanted to remain in Lynch’s district and felt Walpole has more in common with towns like Canton, Norwood, and Dedham, which are in Lynch’s district, than with towns like Milford and rural towns near Rhode Island which are part of Frank’s district. According to School Committee member Bill Buckley, the amendment to put Walpole back into Lynch’s district was “the result of a long process of lobbying.” A number of prominent current and former town officials were involved with that lobbying effort.

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