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After failed LG bid, Mass. Sen. Hinds focusing on legislative goals before his term ends

State Senator Adam Hinds kicks off his campaign
Josh Landes
State Senator Adam Hinds at his lieutenant governor campaign kick off in October 2021.

Western Massachusetts State Senator Adam Hinds failed to make the primary ballot for lieutenant governor at the state Democratic convention last weekend. Now, Hinds will be wrapping up three terms representing the state’s largest geographic Senate district on Beacon Hill.

Hinds, elected to represent the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District in 2016, says he got into the lieutenant governor’s race to tackle the state’s biggest issues.

“Be it climate change or income inequality, these are cross cutting issues that need to be, you need to work with every member of the cabinet. And so really, the governor and lieutenant governor, those are the positions that can bring folks together to take on those big issues,” he told WAMC. “That was a part of the appeal, drawing on my background in negotiation to basically convene the state government at the highest level.”

Hinds secured over 12% of the vote at the Democratic state convention in Worcester — short of the 15% required to make it onto the primary ballot in September.

“I couldn't have been more proud of the race we ran and the message we were bringing,” he said. “I think I was, really, what was with the driver for getting in the race in the first place was to focus on things like regional equity and standing up for folks who are on the wrong end of an economy that is one of the most unequal in the in the country and bringing those voices to Beacon Hill. And so, that message is one that I was proud of, and one that I hope will continue when I'm not in the race.”

Of the three candidates who secured ballot slots, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll captured the party’s endorsement and led the pack with over 40% of the vote. She was followed by State Representative Tami Gouveia and State Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow.

“It's difficult in a race, in a season when we have so many people running for lieutenant governor,” said Hinds. “That definitely was ultimately a deciding factor. We just said, the math was hard to add up to keep everybody in the race. And so that's OK, I'm going to continue to fight for the same things that got me in this race. But it just may not be from that position.”

For now, Hinds says he doesn’t have any plans for when his term ends in January.

“The lieutenant governor's role, I thought, was a right the right fit for standing up for the entire Commonwealth, every corner of the Commonwealth, standing up for the fact that we are in one of the most expensive states in the country and doing all we can to confront income inequality,” the state senator told WAMC. “But there are lots of ways to do that. And so I'll take a few days to be with family but and then start to figure out what's next.”

He has yet to endorse any of the candidates in the primary.

“I've spoken with all of them since the convention," said Hinds. "But you know, right now, I'm focusing on my 1-year-old son.”

In the state Republican primary, endorsed candidate Leah Cole Allen will face off against Kate Campanale for lieutenant governor. Both are former state representatives.

Hinds’ Berkshire delegation colleague Paul Mark – state representative of the soon-to-be nonexistent 2nd Berkshire District – is running for his Senate seat.

Hinds, who has worked alongside Mark for the past five years, has yet to endorse him in his primary race against Huff Templeton of Williamstown.

“We really do need a strong voice for Western Mass, and Paul has been that that voice for sure already in the legislature,” he told WAMC. “And that's a good thing. So we'll make sure we're doing it on his terms.”

Whoever emerges from the September 6th primary will face unenrolled candidate Brendan Phair in November.

Hinds is eager to remind his constituents that regardless of who their state Senator is for the next term, he still has legislative goals to meet before his time in office runs out.

“I'm chairing the rural schools commission that will have a report soon, which is, the whole effort there is to have a really a long-term fix on our small and rural schools,” he said. “So that's a big one. That's been a priority of mine since I got into office, and it'd be nice to have that as the capstone, I think. I'm the chair of Revenue, and we're working on a tax relief package as we speak. So that's another big item, it will be a heavy lift. And so I'll be focusing on that. And then a range of other items. You know, getting the Berkshire Flyer on the track, finally, July 8th, and really making sure that those things are in place before I leave office. So we've got a busy couple of months ahead.”

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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