Richardson opened her campaign office tonight with appearances and endorsements by Majority Whip Lida Harkins, Rep. Marie St. Fleur, Rep. Martin Walsh, and fellow Framingham Rep. Tom Sannicandro.
Richardson’s colleagues praised her as hard-working, tuned to the needs of the district, and savvy in getting things for her community on Beacon Hill. They called her instrumental in winning Framingham $3 million more in Chapter 70 education funding, as well as $12.9 million in funding for Framingham Technology Park to help Genzyme expand in town.
She also has the backing of former Framingham state Rep. John Stasik, who is co-hosting a coffee for her this weekend.
Richardson was the pick of a hastily called 2006 Democratic caucus after Blumer died of a heart attack just weeks before the election. Secretary of State William Galvin ruled that it was too late to print new ballots, so Blumer’s name was the only one appearing since she had no Republican challenger. Richardson ran a successful sticker campaign with the backing of the Democratic establishment, including Blumer’s family following the caucus vote.
Harkness was quoted recently as describing herself as a “liberal’s liberal” but also has characterized herself as a fiscal conservative.
Disclaimer: I support Pam Richardson. Several years ago, Harkness voted against funding renovation of Framingham’s branch library, a project that needed 2/3 approval and fell just three votes short. This defeat forced the town to forego 25% state matching funds and the library to have wasted tens of thousands of dollars on detailed engineering drawings and other specific plans for the building; earlier, Town Meeting had voted to back the plan. Rep. Deborah Blumer spoke in favor of the new branch library just before the final vote.