A few months ago at Grafton Town Meeting, this nice guy in a suit was handing out campaign literature. I grabbed one of his cards and chatted with him a little bit, expressing my surprise that someone was talking about the state senate race quite so soon. He said it was never too soon to talk to voters, because that was the best way to find out what’s on people’s minds.
The guy’s name? Michael Moore, a selectman in neighboring Millbury who is one of two Democrats seeking the nomination for the 2nd Worcester District. Moore will be opposing Doug Belanger of Leicester (interview here) in the Sept. 16 primary. The winner goes on to face Shrewsbury Republican John Lebeaux and Green Party candidate Steven Baer of Shrewsbury (I’ve put links to their sites under “political candidates.” Anyone have a site for Baer?).
“I love public service,” Moore said in a telephone interview Friday that, I apologize, was a little rushed on my end. “I like the challenges. I feel I have a very good background that can be put to good use.”
Moore served 18 years with the state Environmental Police, serving as an investigator with the Attorney General’s office. In the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, he served as assistant deputy superintendent, responsible for the Community Service Program, inmate reintegration program, and Senior Citizen community outreach safety programs.
He is now in his seventh year as a selectman in Millbury, where he cites his experience negotiating the Wheelabrator contract (which brings about $30 million to the town) and working with the developers of the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley.
This background, plus his experience with unions and his public safety career, made moving on to state office a natural progression, Moore said. He’s been talking with voters throughout the district and, as with Belanger, he’s found voters’ concerns boil down to a single issue: the economy.
“Everybody’s dealing with the economy,” Moore said. “The government may say it’s not a recession, but everyone’s worried that that’s the case.”
Given his history with the Environmental Police, it’s not surprising that he talks about clean energy when he suggests ways to bring jobs to Massachusetts. He also supports Gov. Deval Patrick’s signing of the $1 billion biotechnology bill, which directs state funds toward the life sciences over the next decade.
On the education front, he’s supportive of the model school program, which is looking to establish set building plans for new high schools in the state. This could make school building funding more equitable and cut down on costs to towns by having designs already available.
When state Sen. Edward Augustus announced he wasn’t seeking re-election, Moore said he immediately started talking with supporters about the possiblity of seeking the seat. He’s been gratified to find so much support for his candidacy.
“Whether I win or lose this race, I’m going to stay in public service,” Moore said.