We spoke recently with Lieutenant Governor candidate Sam Kelley. As is our practice David, Charley and I will each post our impressions separately without advance discussion. (Full disclosure: I have already announced that I am supporting Andrea Silbert for this position).
Kelley is a trained child psychiatrist. He worked for Washington state congressperson Jim McDermott, was Medical Director of the Heritage Hospital in Somerville, MA, and served as Medical Director for Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, among other accomplishments (click here for a full biography).
Kelley stressed the importance of education: "At one point in time we were spending more on our criminal justicesystem than our educational system. We need to turn that around." He lamented the high cost of housing: "The high cost of housing is driving people out of the state." He stressed the importance of moral leadership by elected officials: "People have become cynical and abandoned our government. We needleadership that provides not only jobs and education but hope andinspiration and confidence."
He said if elected, he would like to focus his efforts onimprovements to the health care system: "The State House needs a gooddoctor. I am the kind of person who couldguide the Governor through these issues, particularly on health care."
The current health care system in Massachusetts, he said, is in acrisis that will have increasingly broad effects: "It’s not too longthat people will figure out that these increaseswill continue and start to impact our housing costs and our ability toattract businesses and develop our state."
Kelley said he would work well with both Democratic candidates for Governor: "I’ve sat down with both announced candidates and think I would havea good working relationship with either of them."
Kelley singled out unfunded mandates, the lottery, and the heavy reliance of local communities on property tax revenues as particular problems. With respect to the lottery, he said, "I am not a huge fan of the lottery. When I see someone who is on welfare buying 10 lottery tickets it bothers me. It is a tax." He added, "I don’tbelieve those funds are coming back to cities and towns the way theyshould."
With respect to fundraising he said: "The money will come. We have been focused on understanding the needs of the people.I have been endorsed by Bob Farmer, Bob Crowe, Meredith DeWitt, and Jack Manning from Boston Capital Partners. I am focused on message, understanding the people,and understanding the needs of the state."
"I want to bring hope and aspiration to this state," Kelley concluded.