Races for state rep, Congress brings voters to the polls for State Primary

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At the North Attleborough High School, candidates and their supporters wave to voters as they enter. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
Voters fill out their ballots at North Attleborough High School, the sole polling location for the State Primary. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

The parking lot at North Attleborough High School saw dozens of cars as people arrived to vote in the State Primary.

This election, held on Sept. 1, included a number of contested races, as Democratic and Republicans vied for the nomination for state representative, Congress, and more. Locally, the focus has been on Adam Scanlon and Peter Reynolds, both running as Democrats for the state representative position, long held by Elizabeth Poirier. Town Councilor Michael Lennox is running as the sole Republican candidate. Scanlon and Reynolds were outside the high school—the town’s sole voting location due to the pandemic—and waved to vehicles as they arrived.

Because of the pandemic, the traditional methods of meeting voters had to be replaced with more phone calls and Zoom meetings. Scanlon, a member of the Town Council, said he was happy with the campaign. He wished he could have knocked on more doors, but said the team did their best, and was pleased with the results.

I’m glad for the people that took the time to hear my message,” he said.

Reynolds, who served two terms on the Board of Selectmen, agreed that it would have been good to hold regular campaign events, but felt the message had gotten out.

I was able to talk to people about the issues that are important to them,” he said.

Another candidate who stopped in North Attleborough was Dr. Natalia Linos, one of seven seeking the Democratic nomination for the MA-04 district of Congress. Linos was the last of the candidates to announce their campaign, and though she lacks political experience of her own, she led the United Nations Development Programme’s work at the intersection of health and climate change. She said it was the events she saw during the pandemic that prompted her to run.

Health is a human right,” she said. “We should not be allowing people to die because they can’t afford healthcare.”

Among Linos’ campaign methods was a weekly Ask Me Anything Zoom call, and she said some of the participants were glad to get the chance to speak directly to a candidate.

It was important to step in,” she said.

Congressional candidate Natalia Linos and her team made a stop in North Attleborough for the primary, one of many she planned for the day. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

Inside the high school, a number of changes had been made to protect the public’s health. The poll workers all wore masks, and plastic dividers were set up at each table. Markers used to fill out the ballots were sanitized before being used again. Outside the school, Max Gould said he votes as often as he can, saying it’s important for everyone to do their part.

David Callahan felt voting in the Primary can have more of an impact than the larger Presidential Election.

I vote to be the person to be represented,” he said.

Jhanavi Kapidia said she had been following the Senate race between Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III, particularly because of the Green New Deal that Markey was a part of.

It’s my civic duty,” she said.