Flaherty said his campaign is with the expectation that Velis will win the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire Senate seat formerly held by Mayor Donald F. Humason, Jr. of Westfield. A special state election is slated for May 19.
Flaherty cited Velis as one of his inspirations.
“John Velis is not afraid to cross party lines and do what he thinks is right, which is what I intend to do,” Flaherty said. He said he saw the opportunity, and decided to go for it. “People are tired of party politics, and tired of the same people doing it.”
Flaherty is a recent graduate of Westfield High School, who intends to continue his studies in political science. He was born, raised, and educated in Westfield, and is the fourth generation of his family to live in Westfield. Many of his family members have served the city in elected or appointed positions, as city employees, or as volunteers. He has been involved politically as a campaign manager and assistant for his father, At-large Councilor Dave Flaherty’s six City Council races, and he has followed many local, state, and national political issues for years.
Flaherty said his father Dave Flaherty is another inspiration for his run. “He’s certainly not afraid to speak his mind and do what he thinks is right,” he said.
Flaherty would face the winner of the September Republican Primary between Daniel Allie and Kelly Pease, two other candidates who have announced their run for the seat.
“I’m very familiar with Mr. Allie’s campaign expertise, reputation, Republican Party connections, and work ethic. I also know Mr. Pease has worked for, and been involved with campaigns for Don Humason. I know I’m really going to have to work hard campaigning and communicating to compete and win against either of them.” Flaherty said.
One of the ways Flaherty intends to compete is to reach new people, especially younger people that haven’t been involved in politics before. He said he will focus on reaching out to more people via online methods that are only becoming more important with this pandemic.
Flaherty said he is running as an independent because he is tired of divisive party politics. “Many of the current elected representatives seem to be more concerned about representing their parties, gaining power, and pressing many of their extreme positions, than they do about serving the people who elected them, and doing what’s best for this country. I intend to do what I believe is in the best interests of Westfield – regardless of which party or group promotes or opposes an issue,” he said, adding that he will be posting information about himself, his campaign, and his position on dozens of issues on his website, Facebook, youtube, and Instagram in the coming weeks and months.
“I’m in this to serve the community better; not for personal political gains. This is supposed to be a service job for the people of Westfield,” he said.
Flaherty said one of the most memorable quotes about service is “nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” “This November election is going to change the world. I want to serve Westfield and involve younger generations who will make a positive difference for years to come.”
“I look forward to earning the trust and confidence of voters in the coming months. I’m committed to representing Westfield in the legislature in Boston, and in serving residents and businesses here at home,” Flaherty said.