Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz spoke with Massachusetts Senate President Harriette Chandler on May 6 requesting that the state extend the nomination papers deadline by two weeks for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District following the sudden resignation of Sen. Stan Rosenberg on May 4, but Chandler declined due to the precedent this would set for state election laws.
Kevin Connor, a spokesperson with the senate president’s office, confirmed with the Valley Advocate that Narkewicz spoke with Chandler and that she declined the request.
“We have these filing deadlines for a reason,” Connor said. “When you extend [the deadline] on a case-by-case basis, there is no reasonable standard by which you can make an accurate judgement.”
In a press release, Narkewicz stated that while he remains “troubled by the timing of events on Beacon Hill” that has left the district with an uncontested ballot, he respects Chandler’s decision.
“Included among those reasons were the fact that new candidates still had a lawful opportunity to run for the now-open state Senate seat via a write-in campaign and her concerns about setting precedent,” Narkewicz stated. “She cited specifically the May 2 death of four-term Framingham State Representative Chris Walsh who sadly lost his courageous battle with cancer one day after the nomination papers deadline leaving the 6th Middlesex District with no Democratic candidate on the ballot and no mechanism for replacing him without similarly changing long standing legal precedent.”
The only candidate who filed signatures for the state senator seat on the Sept. 4 primary ballot is political newcomer Chelsea Kline (D – Northampton).