Candidates Prepare For Oddly Timed Westfield Special Election

Voters in Westfield go to the polls Tuesday in a special election to fill the Massachusetts House seat left vacant by Don Humason, who was elected to the state Senate last year. But the winner will still have to defend the seat in November’s general election.

Humason, a Republican, held the Westfield House seat for ten years. But the seat has been in GOP hands much longer – since 1979. Given that history, there’s a bit more at stake for the party’s nominee, Dan Allie. He notes the timing of the special election is an added challenge.

“It’s not a typical time, it’s April Fools’ Day, it’s not November,” says Allie. “It’s the only election that people have the chance to vote for, so it’s up to the candidates to be bringing people out to the polls.”

Allie is running against Democrat John Velis. With the seat up for grabs again in November, Velis says the winner will have a very short time to get settled on Beacon Hill.

“So it’s just about going down there, being a zealous advocate for Westfield in the short time that I’m there, and turn it around and doing it right again in November,” Velis says.

Velis says right now he’s focused on tomorrow’s election. Allie notes nomination deadlines are already looming for November’s race.