OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Montigny for Massachusetts Senate President
There is nobody more qualified in the Massachusetts Senate to lead the body than Mark Montigny.
The next Senate president will be a Democrat and the best of the candidates is New Bedford Senator Mark Montigny. The state Senate is currently being led by a capable person who agreed to step forward at a time of crisis to ensure the important business of the state would get done. Sen. Chandler also has no interest in continuing in the position so a contest for leadership is off and running.
Mark Montigny has been in the Senate for over 20 years. When others cashed out to become lobbyists he stayed to work on the less lucrative business of the people. You don't have to agree with him to admire his dedication to public policy. Abused animals and victims of human trafficking are among God's creatures he has worked hard to help. They don't have lawyers or high paid lobbyists, but they did have Senator Montigny and that was all they needed in the halls of power when wielding power mattered and nobody was watching.
Experience matters and the senator from Greater New Bedford has the experience and the institutional knowledge to guide the upper chamber. He wrote the state budget for four years as the chair of Ways and Means in the Senate. He understands the long-term debt and capital needs from his years as a chairman with that oversight. He has an in-depth knowledge of our health care system from his time as the chair of Health Care in the Senate. There is nobody with his experience currently serving in the elected branches of Massachusetts government.
Elected in the early 1990's, Montigny has served with six different Governors and four different U.S. presidents. He has worked with six different state senate presidents starting with William Bulger. He has seen the highs and lows of the economy and dealt with its impact on the state budget and the essential services that document provides. We have a new national tax code and it impacts Massachusetts more than most states - is it time for a "fresh hand" on the tiller or a veteran who has weathered the storms over the years?
The political realities of his fellow senators make Montigny a logical choice too. This is a political body and it is important to acknowledge the needs and ambitions of the members and their districts. Mark's district is a mix of urban, suburban and rural giving him common interest with all of the senators in the Commonwealth. He has Umass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College and Umass Law School in his district. He has the most lucrative seaport in the United States along with emerging technology companies. Many of the Americans who fled Puerto Rico's recent natural disasters are in his district. He represents people who are dealing with the opioid crisis in Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, and Dartmouth along with the city of New Bedford.
He has never faced an opponent since the day he won the Democrat primary in 1993. He has around a million dollars in his campaign fund and he has no opponent on the horizon. This lack of political competition gives him the latitude to serve all of Massachusetts and the needs of individual senators. He has also attempted to be the senate president in the past and understands the importance of including those who didn't win but offer the talent and knowledge a new president needs to guide the chamber.
Mark Montigny should be elected president of the state senate.
Editor’s Note: Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 am-Noon. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.