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Election 2012: 10th Middlesex State Representative Candidate Interviews

Watertown Democrat John Lawn faces Republican challenger Francis Stanton of Waltham.

State Rep. John Lawn won a special election for the 10th Middlesex State Representative seat last year, and the Watertown Democrat is being challenged by Waltham Republican Francis Stanton.

The district covers parts of Waltham, Watertown and Newton. 

Patch interviewed both candidates, and here's what they said:

1) What are you top three priorities?

John Lawn Francis Stanton
  1. Economy and Jobs
  2. Longterm funding solution for MBTA
  3. Continue to push legislation for removing Statue of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse

1. Repeal the new Health Care Cost control bill which will do nothing to limit costs and everything to raise the cost of health care.

 2. Turn Taxachusetts back to Massachusetts

 3. Ensure that cities and towns get first bids on any state land that may become available within that city or town’s boundaries.

 

2) How will you help promote business and increase the number of jobs in the district?

Lawn Stanton

After being elected as a member of the House of Representatives in May of 2011, I received a call from Speaker Deleo asking me about my interests and background in deciding which committee assignments I would be interested in.  

Being a Small Business Owner and also having the work experience of working for Fidelity Investments, one of Massachusetts largest employers, gives me a unique background of the challenges of both large and small businesses face in our State. Speaker Deleo appointed me a member of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. 

This has been a great experience and this session the House passed a comprehensive economic development and jobs bill.  Here are some of the highlights of this bill: 

  • creates a new local infrastructure development program that gives municipalities a new tool for leveraging private funding to finance infrastructure improvements needed to support economic development projects; 
  • Creates a Community Investment Grant Program that seeks to promote long term public and private partnerships at the community level by providing a special donation tax credit for contributions made to selected community improvement efforts; 
  • Extends for another two years state and local permits held by any developer who has been unable to proceed with their project because of tight credit markets; 
  • provides funds for a competitive grant program through the Small Business Association of New England that averts layoffs at manufacturing companies; 
  • creates a new minimum corporate tax credit in the amount of the corporate minimum payment of $456, available to companies in their first three years of filing; 
  • established Small Business On Line Portal, which is a one-stop-shop for small business owners looking for help or information; 

These are steps in the right direction to help our economy at the local level.  I have been meeting throughout my time as a member of the Legislature with local business owners. It is important to understand the challenges small business owners face and I will continue to meet with them to understand what we can do at the state level to help support them.

By reducing the burdensome amount of regulation effecting small businesses and to reduce taxes such as the meals and sales tax.

 

3) What are the key differences between yourself and your opponent?

Lawn Stanton

I believe that my experience in working as a City Councilor at the local level for six years provided me with a solid understanding of the issues that local government face. I was first elected in 2006, and shortly after that, the economy went into a deep recession. 

Being on the front lines of the cuts to our Education and Public Safety was an experience I will always be mindful of. I believe that we are on a path to a stronger economy and will continue to fight for local aid funding.  This is and will be top priority for me. In my short time as the State Representative for the 10th Middlesex District, I have been able to use my life experiences to help guide me to become a productive legislator.  I have the experience as a small business owner, a father of five children in our public schools, a former City Councilor, a son of a senior citizen living on a fixed income and also having the experience of being laid off in 2002 from Fidelity Investments. These  experiences give me solid understanding of the challenges many people throughout this district face.

I will be an independent voice on Beacon Hill. My voting will not be in 100% agreement with the Speakers.  I will only be accountable to the constituents and not to party leadership.

 

4) How much time will you spend in the district, compared to your time spent on Beacon Hill?

Lawn Stanton When I first was elected in May of 2011, I realized quickly that it was important to manage your time. I was still on the City Council until December 2011 and did not run for re-election.  I try to split my time in the district and my office at the State House. If it is easier for my constituents, I will meet with them in the district instead of the State House. I will do what ever is easiest for constituents who request to meet with me.  I will spend equal time at both. Wherever I am needed most and where I could do the greatest good for the constituents.

 

5) What is something that people may not know about you but should?

Lawn Stanton

This is a tough one! I grew up in the same neighborhood that I live in today so there is not much about me that is not already known. 
One interesting note about the Newton district of the 10th Middlesex District is my long term friendship with Scott Lennon. Scott was born and raised in the Nonantum area and he is President of the Newton Board of Alderman.  

Scott and I met in high school at a quarterback camp at Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Ma.  We both attended Merrimack College together and both played quarterback on the football team.  Scott is very passionate about Newton and especially the Nonantum area. It is great for me to have him as a friend and he certainly keeps me informed of the important issues facing Newton.

I am a High School History teacher who is looking to make a difference for his State and his community.

Paul Fahey November 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Sonny the gerrymandering was done years ago when one small precinct in Watertown was thrown into a Waltham-based district. This new district brings some balance. John will win and hold the seat because he works hard...not because of the district lines.
Paul Fahey November 02, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Sonny I am talking about the original one that placed Precinct 10 in that district in the first place!! This recent move creates more balance and in no way makes this a Watertown seat.
Paul Fahey November 02, 2012 at 08:19 PM
No Sonny...ACTUAL history! Yes John is safe but that's not the point. It's NOT a safe Watertown seat after John. The redistricting was done to help John but what it also does is give Watertown a shot at holding the seat after he's gone.
Paul Fahey November 02, 2012 at 08:30 PM
You're kidding right? I will make my point one more time. The redistricting gives Watertown a chance to hold the seat in the future, whether John is there or not.
marty lombardo November 02, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Sonny, your argument makes no sense at all. This is a heavily favored Waltham seat. Losing a Precent in Newton hurts Rep. Lawn. Why would that ever be to his advantage? Stanton has the advantage of having 70% of the district in his hometown. Also, the redistricting that was done was praised by everyone as the most transparent and was heralded by everyone.
John DiMascio November 04, 2012 at 10:57 AM
The Watertown Republican Town Committee supported Jim Dixon in both his races. It was the decision of his campaign manager and Mr. Dixon not focus on Watertown in the hopes that people would think the race was over after the primary. We opposed this strategy, but it was Mr. Dixon's call. Members of the Watertown RTC campaigned for Mr. Dixon in Waltham where he asked for our help. Any claim to contrary is absurd. Anyone who comes out here refusing to use his real name and claiming to have secret information is not credible. The one member of the RTC, (one of Mr. Lawn's neighbors) who support John Lawn, was asked to resign from he committee and he did. John Lawn is an honorable man, who is personally well liked by many on the Republicans. However, we have serious policy disagreements with Mr. Lawn and would not support him for those reasons. But returning to the point, there are at best 100 Republicans in precinct 10 in Watertown. I don't have the results in front of me, but my recollection is that we got most of them out to vote for Dixon. Mr. Dixon lost by 1,000 votes. John Lawn carried most of the Waltham precincts if not all, and all of the Newton precincts. So to blame Mr. Dixon's loss on Steve Aylward verges on total insanity. Then again the same person insisted that Aylward would lose the State Committee race, which he won by 18% of the vote, doubling his opponent in Watertown!

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