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Candidates Edge Into State Senate Race

By Laya Anasu, Contributing Writer

As State Senator Steven Tolman seeks the presidency of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, local politicos have begun eyeing his seat.

State Representative William N. Brownsberger ’78 of Belmont, has already announced his intention to run.

Meanwhile, State Representative Jonathan Hecht of Watertown, says he is considering entering the race should Tolman step down.

Tolman, Hecht, and Brownsberger are all Democrats.

Brownsberger—who has represented Belmont in the House since 2006—said in an interview Tuesday that he expects other candidates to enter the race.

“Nobody is in it. Everybody’s thinking about it,” Brownsberger said.

But, Brownsberger said, even if other candidates join the race, he is ready to take on any challengers.

“I like Representative Hecht very much, but I think my record of public service is longer,” Brownsberger said.

For his part, Hecht has not officially thrown his hat in the race.

“Senator Tolman is still our senator and will be until he resigns,” Hecht said. But, he added, “I am looking very closely at the race. I am interested in running.”

Each candidate would bring different life experiences to the seat. Hecht, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988, first gained elected office in 2005 as a member of the Watertown Town Council. Before that he worked for a number of years researching East Asia and China. He co-founded the China Law Center at Yale Law School.

Brownsberger, a resident in Currier House during his time at the College, also graduated from the Law School in 1983.

“I’ve been involved in local politics for about 15 or 16 years,” Brownsberger said.

His resume includes coaching soccer and chairing the Belmont Democratic Town Committee.

Brownsberger considers himself a “social liberal, but fiscally responsible.”

He said his campaign will focus on the idea that every American should enjoy a good quality of life.

He said he hopes that one day “everybody has the opportunity to enter and remain in the middle class.”

He said he is passionate about representing his constituents and said he decided to run after “lots of people encouraged me to take an office where I can do more good. It’s a very natural step for me.”

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