Patrick: Western Mass. Voters Should Expect Attention, Visits From Next Governor

Governor Deval Patrick says the voters of western Massachusetts should  insist that their next governor become a frequent visitor.

Owner of a home in Richmond, Massachusetts, Patrick has been a familiar face to the western part of the state during his terms. On a visit to Crane paper company in North Adams, he said that should be the norm.

“I don’t think western Massachusetts should accept a governor who doesn’t understand that his job or her job is to govern the whole state. And that means getting out of the corner office and getting around the state and meeting people,” Patrick says.

No major candidates from western Massachusetts have entered the governor’s race to date. State Senator Ben Downing of Pittsfield says the simple fact there are much fewer voters in the region presents a disadvantage to candidates.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily prohibitive to come from Western Mass but I think it is a different hurdle than other people have to cross,” Downing says.

Downing adds that while western Massachusetts is not large in population, it is large in people who generally vote and are active in statewide campaigns.