Paul Feeney, Joe Shortsleeve, and Jacob Ventura (left to right)
State Senatorial debate Tuesday night – Election next Tuesday, 10/17
Tuesday night the three candidates for our vacant State Senate seat held a two hour debate at the Medfield High School auditorium, run by Medfield TV. I participated as a panelist to ask questions. I really knew little about the candidates, so I welcomed the opportunity to learn about them and their positions. And in the process I learned for whom I will vote next Tuesday.
Paul Feeney is the Democrat, who described himself as someone who went directly from high school to the work force, as a telephone worker – for decades. I understood that he was active in union work seeking to preserve jobs, and that he ultimately recently worked on Senator Timilty’s staff. Along the way he was active in town matters in Foxborough, being chair of the selectmen, a coach, among other things.
Joe Shortsleeve lives in town and is running as an independent, because he says there is too much noise among the two political parties. Joe described himself to be politically in the center between the other two candidates, and as a self-described “fiscal conservative, liberal on social issues.” Joe said he had a 35 year career as a broadcast journalist, mainly with WBZ TV, where he was part of the I-Team.
Jacob Ventura is the Republican, an attorney, a former staffer for a State Representative, and has training and/or experience in business and/or finance. He has been endorsed by Governor Baker and our own Representative Shawn Dooley.
All three are bright and well spoken. Joe Shortsleeve has the most highly polished delivery, as one who has spoken a lot in his career. Paul Feeney delivered what I thought of as the most impassioned comments. Jacob Ventura spoke with the well reasoned, analytical thinking familiar to me as representative of his attorney training.
I will be happily be voting for Paul Feeney. I am a Democrat, but I will be voting based almost entirely on what I heard from him Tuesday night. First, he recounted having had much more experience in positions of responsibility, in his union, his town, and other organizations, than I heard about from of the other two. Second, he expressed a palpable passion for serving the people, and while I heard the other two say some similar things, I did not hear or feel the similar passion in their voices when they said it. Third, he promised a positive campaign, and delivered on that in the debate. Lastly, my question to the three had to do with what solutions they would suggest to our insufficient state budget monies (i.e. insufficient monies to fix our infrastructure and insufficient local aide to satisfy Medfield’s municipal needs), and he was the only one of the three willing to talk about the revenue side of the equation, versus the old saw about cutting spending and waste.