Unchallenged, Belmont’s State Legislators Re-Election Secured Early

It’s a fairly good bet that Belmont residents will be coming out in large numbers for this year’s primary (Sept. 9) and general (Nov. 4) elections. With wide-open contests for most of the big state offices including governor and plenty of ballot questions – a statewide casino ban and paid sick leave – voters should be staying up into the night viewing results.But it will be early evenings for Belmont’s Beacon Hill representatives; while there’s tremendous interest in a wide array of political races on the 2014 ballot, State Sen. Will Brownsberger and State Rep. Dave Rogers find their re-election paths unimpeded by potential challengers for their elected offices.

For Brownsberger – who represents the 2nd Suffolk & Middlesex which includes his Belmont hometown, Watertown and precincts in Boston and Cambridge – after seemingly running continuously for the past several election cycles, “[i]t’s a relief.

“I’ve had a campaign every year in each of the last four years and I welcome the breather,” said won a special election for his current seat in early 2012 but was defeated last year in the race to replace Edward Markey in the US House of Representatives.

For Rogers, who won the seat in a 2012 special election to replace Brownsberger representing the House’s 24th Middlesex, the “ABC” district – comprising precincts in Arlington, Belmont and parts of Rogers’ hometown of Cambridge – while he enjoys campaigning, there is the downside of gladhanding with residents.

“It is a highly time-intensive activity that inevitably would distract any incumbent candidate from the substantive aspects of the job.”

While seemingly minor open races – such as for Lt. Governor – have people willing to throw their hats into those rings, potential challengers to Brownsberger and Rogers would be required to take on an incumbent who have solid support in their districts for their steady, if workaday, legislative records.

“It is hard to say why I do not have an opponent without getting into random speculation,” said Rogers.

“But I hope that, in part, it is a reflection of the considerable effort I am putting forth on behalf of the people I represent, effort that has yielded a number of important, positive developments for our community,” said Rogers, who points to boosting public transportation and public education funding, increasing the minimum wage to the highest in the nation as recent accomplishments.

“Hopefully, people feel I’m doing a good job,” suggested Brownsberger.

In addition, the legislators have the ability to raise the cash needed to run a primary campaign. I probably didn’t go unnoticed by anyone with political ambitions in the “ABC” district that popular Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick would come straight from Logan to highlight Rogers’ fundraiser earlier in the year.

With re-election all but certain, Brownsberger and Rogers are gearing up for the next legislative year in advance of the election of a new governor.

“I’m getting more done than ever before,” said Brownsberger, who was recently appointed by Senate leadership to co-chair the prominent Judiciary Joint Committee.

“I feel I’m hitting my stride and taking on a lot of responsibility in the legislature. I am delivering a lot of value for my district and the Commonwealth,” he said.

“When Patrick came to Belmont in April to endorse me at my re-election campaign kickoff, he told a large, enthusiastic crowd that I had shown political courage on Beacon Hill. I had championed the values and voted for the public policy goals about which my constituents care, even when at times under fairly intense pressure to vote a different way,” said Rogers.

“I believe that I have hit the ground running, and I look forward to continuing service to the community. It’s very hard work, but it’s also a great honor, deeply rewarding and a lot of fun,” he said.

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