Aylward is first Republican to challenge Brownsberger


Less than a year after winning a special election for a state Senate seat, Belmont Democrat William Brownsberger is already facing another challenger in his bid for reelection next month.

Steven Aylward, a 58-year-old former School Committee chairman in Watertown, is running against Brownsberger for the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District seat in the general election on Nov. 6.

As vice president of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, Aylward said he’s running because the state needs more Republicans on the ballot to give voters an option to the Democrat-controlled state government.


“I think we need to end one-party rule in Massachusetts,” he said.

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Brownsberger said he should be reelected because he’s been working very hard on all of the issues facing the district, from transportation infrastructure to education. “I’m doing a heck of a job on all the issues in the district,” he said.

The Second Suffolk and Middlesex District covers all of Belmont and Watertown, and in Boston covers most of Brighton, Back Bay and Fenway, and parts of Allston.

Brownsberger, 55, was elected to the seat in a special election in January to replace Steven Tolman, who resigned in November of 2011 to take a job as president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

Brownsberger defeated several Democratic challengers in a special primary election last year, but did not face an opponent in the special general election in January.


In September, neither Brownsberger nor Aylward faced opponents in the state primary elections.

Aylward, who has also served as chairman of the Watertown Republican Town Committee, said he believes Brownsberger is in politics for the right reasons, but he differs with him on policies.

Aylward is a vice president and general manager for Cass Information Systems in Lowell, and he said creating jobs is a major issue in the race. He said the state places too much regulation on businesses, which drives the jobs that would be created by large and small businesses out of the state.

“I think the policies of this administration and this Legislature when it comes to business is deplorable,” he said.

Aylward said he wants a government that works for the people and embraces business so more jobs will be created and the economy will improve.


Brownsberger has served as the state representative for the 24th Middlesex District for five years and was a selectman in Belmont from 1998 to 2007.

Since he was elected to the Senate, he said he has “put his shoulder to the wheel” on numerous issues facing the district, from handicap accessibility in the Fenway area, to athletic facilities in Brighton, to the bike path extension in Watertown, and addressing the state aid to Watertown.

He said transportation infrastructure remains a big issue for the district, from Turnpike access in the Back Bay to making sure every taxpayer dollar is being used effectively when it comes to the MBTA.

He said education is also an important issue, including public schools and making sure that adults can get the training they need to get jobs in the private sector.

According to records on file with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Brownsberger had a commanding lead over Aylward in campaign funds headed into the primary elections. Brownsberger had raised about $39,000 since the beginning of the year to add to $5,000 he already had in his campaign account. He had spent about $25,400 heading into the primary elections.

Aylward had raised about $150 since the start of the year and had not spent any of it heading into the primary elections, according to his campaign finance records. The candidates won’t be required to file another campaign finance report with the state until Oct. 29.

Brock Parker can be reached at brock.globe@gmail.com.