By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
It was March 5 when Republican State Senate candidate Matt Kelly launched his campaign before a crowd of over 800 people.
Then the pandemic hit, and his original campaign plans were replaced with much smaller meetings and Zoom calls, as Kelly continued to work to get his message of common sense and maintaining a focus on the communities as opposed to national issues. But on Aug. 17, Kelly was able to have another large in-person event at the Community School, providing free ice cream to the children and meeting voters to explain his platform. Social distancing was observed, and Kelly and all his staff wore masks.
“People want to come out. The ability to turn around and do an event like this, is fantastic,” said Kelly, who has served as a member of the Franklin Town Council since 2009. “I’m so encouraged by the turnout.”
Dozens of people attended the event, the second Kelly has been able to hold. In addition, children in the town’s recreation programs enjoyed the ice cream. Kelly has another planned for Aug. 26 in Franklin and hopes to do another every 10 days before the election in November. For some, this was their first chance to meet Kelly, who is vying for the Senate seat to represent the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District. Betsy Bobkaitis said she wants to see more Republicans in office.
“I wanted to see what kind of support he’s getting,” she said.
Don Crowley of Wrentham said increased accountability is what’s needed and is disappointed by the communication work done by the current senator. He liked Kelly’s business experience, and believes he’ll represent the district.
“He’s definitely going to help our district,” said Crowley.
State Rep. Betty Poirier has officially endorsed Kelly for the position, citing his plan to work across party lines and people skills. She said events like Monday’s provide an important opportunity for the public to meet Kelly and learn more about him.
“He has an embedded understanding and the ability to along with people,” she said.
Kelly said he wants to keep the focus on local issues, such as supporting businesses and establishing new ones. Working as a member of the Franklin Town Council, he’s had the chance to speak with Gov. Charlie Baker and his office and said keeping the public safe is the highest priority.
“As much as Corona has added to the agenda, our priorities haven’t changed,” he said. “We will focus on all community needs and service all.”