The race to replace former state Representative Dan Winslow is on, with the Norfolk Republican’s previous campaign manager already an announced candidate for the GOP nomination and at least two Democrats considering a run for the seat.
Shawn Dooley — former campaign manager for Winslow and Norfolk’s town clerk — announced last month that he would run for the Ninth Norfolk District seat in the House.
Plainville resident Stanley Nacewicz, Winslow’s Democratic opponent in 2010, said he is weighing a run in the special election. Edward J. McCormick III, a lawyer from Norfolk who ran for Congress as a Republican in 1992 against Barney Frank but is now a Democrat, also said he is considering running for the seat.
Potential candidates have until Oct. 29 to submit nomination papers for the interim position, which was created by Winslow’s resignation last month to take a job in the private sector. Party primaries will be held on Dec. 10, with the general election on Jan. 7. The seat will be back on the ballot next fall for a full two-year term. The district is composed of Norfolk, Plainville, and Wrentham, and parts of Walpole, Millis, and Medfield.
This spring, Winslow mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry when he was appointed secretary of state.
The Ninth Norfolk seat on Beacon Hill has been a safe bet for Republicans in recent years.
Dooley, 47, said that, if elected, he would focus on job creation, education, public safety, government waste, and transparency in government.
“I really like public service, and I really like making a difference, and I think on Beacon Hill, I could,” said Dooley.
In addition to being Norfolk’s town clerk, Dooley is an on-call firefighter and EMT for the town, and chairman of the Norfolk School Committee.
Nacewicz garnered 37 percent of the vote as the Democratic nominee for the seat three years ago, and also ran in the Democratic primary for the seat in 2004. He said he has volunteers conducting polling in the district to determine whether he’s likely to perform better this time.
If he does run, Nacewicz said, he’ll focus on the same issues he ran on in 2010, including education, the environment, and taxes. Nacewicz is chief assessor for Attleboro, and is on the Board of Assessors in Plainville.
“If there’s anybody who knows the problems with taxation and the loopholes that exist, it would be the assessor,” said Nacewicz, 57.
McCormick, who said that he is “seriously leaning” toward running and that he would decide this week, outlined broad areas of concern, including education, infrastructure, and the environment. But, he said, he would listen to constituents in deciding on his priorities.
“What is the priority for me is not important,” said McCormick, 60. “I have no other political aspirations. What are the most pressing needs of the people? I think the people determine what the priorities are, and not the elected official.”
The Ninth Norfolk seat has been a safe bet for Republicans in recent years, with state Senator Richard Ross and former US Senator Scott Brown holding it before Winslow.
Winslow said he did some polling and “it looked like I had a path to win” the office of attorney general, but he opted to become general counsel for a Las Vegas-based software support company, Rimini Street Inc., for financial reasons.
With one of his children in graduate school, one in college, and one about to enter college, Winslow said, “the numbers simply didn’t work” for him to stay in government, although he is maintaining his Massachusetts residency and isn’t closing the door on running for office again in the future.
Just before leaving office, Winslow voted to repeal a sales tax on software services, but he dismissed the idea that his vote had anything to do with his new job. He noted that he was against the tax before the employment opportunity arose, and said that his new company was never subject to the tax.
Calvin Hennick can be reached at email@example.com.