Mike Franco for State Senate 2014! Message Board › People are tired of career politicians..
Franco seeks to "shrink government", By Peter Francis, SWK/Hilltowns, Westfield Evening News, September 10, 2013
HOLYOKE – With the summer resignation of Michael Knapik from the Massachusetts State Senate, the Republican party’s seemingly insurmountable deficit on Beacon Hill has the potential of getting even steeper, as the vacated seat gives the GOP a 36-3 minority in the 40-member body.
A longtime candidate for public office who last ran for a seat on the Governor’s Council last year is looking to break through and claim the biggest election of his career while simultaneously keeping red what little turf his party has.
Michael Franco, a veterans service investigator for the city of Holyoke, is seeking to gain support within his home city in the northern end of the district in hopes of winning the seat, a section of the Commonwealth that is routinely listed as one of the poorest and most Democrat-leaning in the Bay State.
"I’m more of a citizen legislator," said Franco, who retired as a reserve Major in the Air Force, with his last stop being at Westover Air Base.
To win the seat, Franco will have to appeal to and ignite the conservative base of the district, which lies in Westfield and it’s surrounding hilltowns, which are very familiar with and supportive of Don Humason Jr., Westfield’s gregarious representative in the Commonwealth’s House of Representatives.
"I like Don, but he’s a career politician," said Franco of his Republican opposition for the seat. "If I’m elected, there will be less reaching across the aisle… I’m going to vote how I believe. Don and Mike (Knapik) especially, you never knew how he was going to vote on any given day."
Franco believes that, for Republicans to begin the arduous process of carving out support in deep blue Massachusetts, reaching across the aisle isn’t going to cut it anymore.
"I don’t think Republicans who vote like Democrats are worth voting for," he said.
Franco has big ambitions should be elected, including votes within his first 100 days in the seat to repeal the state’s recently implemented index gasoline tax, as well as the computer service tax, which "Senator Knapik voted for on his way out."
He would also look to reduce government spending within five years of his election.
"I want to shrink government and expand freedom," said Franco, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State, as well as an MBA from the University of Texas.
Having cut his teeth in local politics in the early 2000s, Franco believes he has what it takes to beat Humason for the party’s nomination.
"He talks about veterans, I am one. He talks about the private sector, I’ve worked there. I’ve traveled the world with the Air Force. He’s a career politician, and I am not."
Franco is also looking to stick up for veterans if elected, and wishes to change the way they receive their benefits in the future.
"The fact that veteran services has been sucked up by welfare and the department of health and human services is a disgrace. It’s a slap in the face," said Franco. "People who have served this country, who have worn the uniform, should be given preferential treatment."
As the October 8 primary draws nearer, Franco believes he has more than a punchers chance at earning the coveted seat to represent western Mass. and hopes folks will come out to support him.
"If you’re a voter who feels they’ve been bullied by the state government, it’s time to get off your couches and fight," he said.
The two Democrats running for the state Senate seat vacated by Sen. Michael Knapik, who took a job at Westfield State University, are Easthampton Mayor Michael Tautznik, Holyoke City Councilor David Bartley.
The special election is Nov. 5.