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A hyperlocal primary

In less than three weeks, on March 3, super Tuesday arrives in Harvard, and citizens here will finally get to vote their preference for a Democratic, Republican, Green-Rainbow, or Libertarian candidate to run in this November’s presidential election. Fourteen states will hold their presidential primaries on that date, dominating the news and perhaps diverting attention from a hyperlocal state primary on the same date to choose a Republican and a Democratic candidate to run for state representative from the 37th Middlesex District, which includes Harvard.

That seat was left empty—and Harvard unrepresented—when Jennifer Benson resigned in November to become president of the Alliance for Business Leadership, a coalition that promotes measures to increase social mobility and reduce economic inequity in Massachusetts. Two Republicans are on the ballot: Malena Chastain and Catherine Clark, both of Lunenburg. The two Democratic candidates are Dina Samfield of Shirley and Danillo Sena of Acton. No candidates appear on either the Green-Rainbow or Libertarian party ballot, though both provide space for write-ins. A special state election to choose Benson’s replacement from among the March 3 winners will be held at the end of the month, March 31.

Whoever succeeds Benson will represent Harvard in the Massachusetts General Court. We expect our state representative to provide constituent services, work with town officials to steer home rule petitions and other local initiatives through committee and onto the house floor for a vote, and advocate for the needs of Harvard and other towns in the district. The choice matters.

You’ll find a letter of endorsement for each of the two Democratic candidates in this issue of the Press. We would welcome letters for the Republican contenders as well. Given our policy not to publish endorsements the week before an election, we would need to receive any submissions by noon Tuesday, Feb. 18.

The Press plans to interview the candidates by email to help readers decide whom to support. But we could use your help. What would you like them to discuss? What do they need to convince you of to get your vote? Please send your questions and ideas to editor@harvardpress.net.

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