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Former Kirkland House Tutor Wins Democratic Nomination in Western Mass.

By Zohra D. Yaqhubi, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: September 10, 2014, at 4:10 p.m.

Eric P. Lesser ’07, a former Kirkland House tutor and Harvard Law School alumnus, secured the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts State Senate seat for the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District in western Massachusetts Tuesday.

With 32 percent of the vote, Lesser, of Longmeadow, beat out Springfield City Council member Timothy C. Allen, Ludlow School Committee member James P. “Chip” Harrington, Hampden County Correctional Center counselor Tom Lachiusa, and Aaron Saunders, former chief of staff for the district’s current senator—Gale Candaras—to secure his place on November’s ballot.

Lesser announced his temporary departure from Kirkland House in late February to devote time to his campaign.

Simon M. Thompson ’14, a volunteer on Lesser’s campaign, said Lesser’s “energy and positivity” to rally voters sets him apart from his competitors.

“He has been a very strong cohering force since his undergraduate days,” Kirkland House Master Tom C. Conley said of Lesser. “When he left in the spring of this year it was with great regret but also great anticipation that we saw him leave.”

Lesser will face Republican Debra Boronski and independent candidate Mike Franco in November’s general election.

If Lesser takes the seat in the general election, Conley said he predicts that he will perform “magnificently” and “with a sense of congeniality and of generosity that I think is very uncommon in the unfortunate political sphere in which we are living.”

—Staff writer Zohra D. Yaqhubi can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @zohradyaqhubi.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: September 10, 2014

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the role of Simon M. Thompson ’14 within former Kirkland House tutor Eric Lesser's campaign. In fact, Thompson is a volunteer.

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