SOUTHWICK –On Dec. 19, two days after Republican John F. Cain said he would take a week or two to consider running for election to the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire State Senate seat, he announced he would seek the seat in the March special election.
Current state Sen. Donald F. Humason Jr. resigned his position to become Westfield’s mayor and will be sworn-in Jan. 6.
State Rep. John C. Velis, D-Westfield, announced last winter he would seek Humason’s seat if he was elected mayor.
Cain announced last summer he would challenge longtime U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal for his western Massachusetts seat. Earlier this week Cain said he was encouraged by supporters to switch gears and run for Senate.
Cain stated “after listening to what the people want and need; this is what I must do. Western Mass. is losing the voice of longtime incumbent Don Humason and I am the candidate who will most closely reflect the values of the people and continue the legacy that Senator Humason has established.”
Cain said he has been listening to residents and their concerns.
“Every day, my work takes me out into our communities. I have heard from the people and will continue to listen to their concerns and provide realistic solutions to address them,” said Cain. “Numerous people have asked me to step up to fill this vacancy. Their confidence and support will allow me to truly make a difference, not only for my family, but for every person and family that I represent. I am giving the people a choice. The choice they have asked for- the choice to succeed.”
Cain, a small business owner in Agawam, has seen the difficulties that are confronting business owners and hardworking employees. He said he has also seen how difficult it is for voters to “really know who they are electing” because of the lack of transparency in the state legislature.
Cain said he plans to address these issues, as well as the opioid crisis affecting the district communities.
Cain is beginning to collect signatures and shifting his campaign to meet the requirements of the special election set for March 31, 2020.
So far, Cain and Velis are the only announced candidates. Velis has been campaigning for several months, knocking on doors in all 11 communities of the district. He said he welcomes an opponent.
“One of the greatest things about America is that any person; regardless of race, gender, or religious faith can step forward and run for office,” he said. “Last year over the course of a deployment to Afghanistan I had the opportunity to observe parliamentary elections where that basic right to run for office was not only not guaranteed; in many instances those who decided to run were targeted, killed, and kidnapped.. So, it’s something that can never be taken for granted and I appreciate anyone who is brave enough to put their name out there and run for office. I look forward to continuing to run a grassroots campaign centered around the issues I’ve been hearing about from voters at our events, at the doors, and throughout the district.”