State Rep. Debby Blumer dies: Apparent heart attack while driving in Framingham
By Norman Miller and Emelie Rutherford/ Daily News Staff
Friday, October 13, 2006 – Updated: 02:59 PM EST
FRAMINGHAM- State Rep. Deborah Blumer died this morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while driving near the Loring Arena.
Blumer, 64, was found by police after her 2004 Acura drove off Dudley Road at about 10:30 a.m., police said. The car lightly struck a wooden guardrail, police spokesman Lt. Paul Shastany said.
Officer Eduardo Rivera was working a nearby detail and ran to the accident, Shastany said. He immediately began performing CPR on the unconscious Blumer.
A second officer, Robert Tibor, rushed to the scene andused a defibrillator on her twice within a minute of the original call, Shastany said.
Within in a minute, she had the best care she could get, but sadly, it was too late, Shastany said.
Blumer was taken by ambulance to the MetroWest Medical Centers Framingham Union Campus, where she was declared dead at 11:35 a.m.
Blumer, a lifelong Democrat, was originally elected as a state representative in 2000 and was seeking a fourth term this year. She was running unopposed.
Blumer was known as a tenacious and unapologetic champion of liberal causes. She fought to change the funding formula for charter schools, defended a failed push to grant illegal immigrants tuition breaks at state colleges and rejected calls to immediately lower the state income tax.
My approach is to do things on a positive basis and to try to do things better and to improve the things in the community we live in, she said last month.
Framimghams David Magnani, a former state lawmaker who met Blumer when she volunteered for his first campaign two decades ago, called the news of Blumers death a punch to the stomach. He hailed her for showing absolutely unrelenting, positive energy … for all issues affecting women, children and vulnerable people in general.
I dont know of anybody in the Legislature I ever met who was more up to speed and informed about every possible issue and willing to put her personal energy on the line, Magnani said. We lost a real hero here.
State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said Blumer threw her heart and soul into whatever she did. Spilka noted Blumers commitment to fighting for more funding for early education and higher education, and to change how the state funds public K-12 schools.
She really helped improve the quality of life for people in her district, and she fought really hard for the causes she believed in, Spilka said.
Blumer won her House seat in November 2000 with 72 percent of the vote, filling the seat vacated by state Rep. John Stasik, D-Framingham.
She held a bachelors degree in science from Framingham State College and a masters degree in business administration from Simmons College.
Before serving in the Legislature Blumer was a manager for Compaq Computer, Digital Equipment and Honeywell-Bull Information Systems.
On Thursday Blumer joined state Reps. Thomas Sannicandro, D-Ashland, and David Linsky, D-Natick, at a gubernatorial campaign event for Democrat Deval Patrick outside Kens Steak House in Framingham. Blumer appeared in high spirits, joking with Linsky and a reporter.
She defended Patricks support of allowing cities and towns to create local options taxes. Earlier in the day Blumer told another reporter at an education summit at Keefe Techabout how important it is for children to be inspired early on to explore their interests.