WESTFIELD – Now that the elections are over, Westfield and Southwick’s Republican representatives are ready to roll-up their sleeves and get back to business.
State Sen. Michael R. Knapik (R-Wesfield), State Rep. Donald Humason (R-Westfield), and Nicholas Boldyga (R-Southwick) are all used to being in the minority as Republicans in a mostly Democratic state. But that does not stop them from working for constituents.
“I’m used to working with a lot of Democrats,” Humason said. “We, as a caucus of Republicans, typically work with our friends on the other side of the aisle.”
While Humason is generally aligned with other Republicans in state government, he said party affiliation does not come before constituents.
“Anything that’s good for western Massachusetts and good for the state, I don’t care who proposes it, I’m willing to work with everyone,” Humason said.
His Southwick colleague agreed.
“It doesn’t matter who puts a bill forward – Republican or Democrat – if it’s good for the community,” Boldyga said.
The loss of Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, is a bit of a blow to local Republican representatives.
“It will be a little bit harder for us,” Humason said. “It remains to be seen what kind of emphasis she places on constituent services.”
Knapik was a staunch supporter of Brown, who was a bipartisan voter.
“I’m very disappointed with Scott’s loss,” Knapik said. “I thought he went to Washington and was exactly the kind of senator he said he would be – an independent senator who would reach across party lines.”
Knapik said he is “hopeful” Warren will do the same and not follow in fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. John Kerry’s footsteps.
“Senator Kerry votes with his party 92-percent of the time,” Knapik said. “I’m fearful Elizabeth Warren will fall into the ranks.”
Knapik said the reality of government today is that Washington is no longer “a basketful of enormous resources.”
Knapik said he is one of just four Republican senators in the Commonwealth, and he is proud of what he has achieved as part of that minority.
“I wish we could have more Republicans, but we don’t,” he said. “My number one priority is to work with anyone who supports my district and western Massachusetts.”
Knapik said right now, the state government is working on the projected $250 million budget shortfall. Until the Senate and House of Representatives are back in session in January, Knapik said Gov. Deval Patrick is working with city leaders.
Knapik said everyone must “come to the center to solve problems” and he believes all parties can work together to tackle the state’s issues.
To see the presidential election results broken down by city and town, click here.