WESTFIELD – Kelly Pease has announced his candidacy for Westfield’s state representative.
Pease spent the past year as the Senate aide to Mayor Donald F. Humason Jr. while he was the 2nd Hampden & Hampshire District Senator.
Since Humason took the corner office in Westfield City Hall Jan. 6, Pease has focused his attention on his candidacy, something he said he has been planning for nearly a year.
“I knew if Don was elected mayor, [state Rep.] John Velis would run for Senate, and I want to be the city’s next representative,” said Pease.
Born at Noble Hospital, Pease, 54, spent most of his formative years living in Chester, but always considered Westfield his home.
“My sister and I took dance at Betty Champion, we did our grocery shopping in Westfield – we were always in Westfield,” he said.
Now a city resident, Pease said he wants to give back to his adopted hometown.
“I want to be an advocate and a voice of reason for what everyday people are worried about. I want to bring common sense to government,” said Pease, who has been a registered Independent most of his life but is running as a Republican.
“I have always leaned toward the conservative,” he said.
Although Pease has not been involved in Westfield politics outside of serving as Humason’s aide, he did serve Chester for three years as a member of the Chester Board of Selectmen when he was 21 years-old.
“I was always politically minded,” Pease said. “I always wanted to serve my community.”
Pease said his parents had some influence on this desire. His father Barney was a police officer in Chester and his mother Gery was a tax collector.
Pease said he wanted to launch his website, peaseforstaterep.com, and announce his candidacy on Jan. 11 because it’s the two-year anniversary of his mother’s death.
“She always encouraged me in everything I did,” he said.
After his time as a selectman, Pease decided to further his education and experience and enlisted in the military. At 24, Pease joined the Army and made it his career, retiring nine years ago as a Chief Warrant IV. Much of Pease’s military career was spent working in intelligence, including with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He was stationed around the world, including Haiti, Macedonia, Kuwait and Korea, as well as in Washington DC.
In 2010, Pease married his wife Serena, also from western Massachusetts, and took a position in Germany, where his son Riley, now 8, was born. Pease also has a son, Christopher, 28, who is in the Air Force.
When it came time to retire, Pease and his wife knew they wanted to return to their hometown, and for Pease, that meant Westfield.
“There was no question that Westfield was where I wanted to be,” he said.
Pease also wanted to return home to care for his mother who had cancer. He said the three years he was able to help take care of her were treasured times.
Post-retirement, Pease took advantage of his military education funds and earned a Bachelor’s in political science and is currently two classes away from completing his Master’s in Law.
Pease worked at the Northampton VA before taking the aide position with Humason.
Pease relaxes by spending time with his family skiing and also enjoys hunting.
Pease was also a child actor and earned a pension with the Screen Actors Guild. He said his red hair and freckles attracted attention.
“When I was a kid and dancing at Betty Champion, my family went to Atlantic City for a dance show and I was on the beach when a woman told my mom I should be in commercials,” Pease recalled.
The woman was connected to the acting industry and knew what she was talking about because Pease ended up with a manager in New York City and over the next 10 years appeared in more than 90 commercials. He had roles in several television shows, including “3-2-1 Contact Bloodhound Gang” and “The Nurse.” He also sang and danced in a Crystal Gayle TV special.
Pease said he enjoyed his young acting career, but he wanted to explore other possibilities.
“I’ve had a good life and I want to bring that experience to the city as its state representative.”
Pease said he can be reached at [email protected]