OPINION | Barry Richard: New Bedford’s Ventura for MA State Senate
I do not often make political endorsements. So, here it comes, a political endorsement.
During the 18 months I have been at WBSM I have endorsed only Donald Trump for President and Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton) for re-election to the Massachusetts House. I believe that you are intelligent enough to select candidates without my assistance. I only wish that more of you would participate in the process, but that's for another day.
More than a decade ago while attending a rally for someone I was introduced to a young man named Jacob Ventura. A New Bedford native, Jacob had graduated from Dartmouth High School in 2005 and was attending UMASS Dartmouth where he served as a member of the College Republicans. I remember being impressed immediately with Jacob's spirit and energy and his passion for people. Even if Jacob didn't know it at the time, I suspected he was destined for a life of public service.
Since that time Jacob, now 30, earned his bachelors degree in finance from UMD and his law degree from Washington & Lee University of Law in Virginia. Jacob has worked as a legislative aid on Beacon Hill and at J.P. Morgan in Boston while also managing several successful political campaigns regionally.
Next Tuesday Jacob, who lives in Attleboro, is on the ballot in a special election to fill an open state Senate seat left vacant by Democrat James Timilty who was appointed Norfolk County Treasurer last Spring. He faces Paul Feeney (D-Foxborough) and Joe Shortsleeve (I-Medfield).
Ventura comes from Portuguese, Cape Verdean and Aquinnah Wampanoag ancestry. He claims to be a direct descendant of Sargent William Carney and Amos Haskins, America's first Wampanoag whaling captain.
Ventura has pledged to vote to repeal the controversial transgender bathroom law, the defunding of Planned Parenthood and believes Massachusetts voters should decide the issue of same sex marriage. He also opposes making Massachusetts a sanctuary state. Those positions have earned him the label of "a right-wing extremist that wants to strip rights from our LGBTQ community and women of the Commonwealth," according to Massachusetts Democrat Party Chair Gus Bickford.
If elected, Ventura would be only the seventh Republican member of the 40 member Massachusetts Senate. He says there needs to be greater balance in the legislature in order to provide for a system of checks and balances. Ventura calls himself "fiscally conservative" and says it's time for a "new generation of leadership" in Massachusetts.
I couldn't agree more. Anyone still smarting over the pay raise issue and the self-serving nature of the current cast of characters on Beacon Hill should also agree that the time for change is now.
Too bad Jacob Ventura didn't keep his local address.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
This report contains information obtained from sources including The State House News Service, South Coast Today and The Dartmouth Chronicle