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Pignatelli wants to see more Western Mass representation in Healey administration

Smitty Pignatelli.
Smitty Pignatelli.

A Berkshire County state legislator says that the administration of Democratic Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey is still lacking in regional representation.

Democratic 3rd Berkshire District State Representative Smitty Pignatelli says Western Massachusetts needs more of a voice in Healey’s government.

“The appointment for the [Department of Energy Resources] Elizabeth Mahoney, she's not from the Berkshires, but she's got strong ties to the Berkshires," Pignatelli told WAMC. "I worked with her very closely when she worked for Senator [Ben] Downing many years ago, she's a home run, she's going to be a grand slam asset to the Healey administration. But I think appointments have to be reflective of the entire commonwealth, and it seems to be very Boston-focused at this point. The jury's still out, but I'm still hopeful that we'll have some representation from Western Mass.”

A 20-year veteran of the statehouse, Pignatelli is Berkshire County’s longest tenured legislator.

Healey's office offered this comment to WAMC:

“Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are committed to building an administration for every region of our state – from Pittsfield to Provincetown. They were proud to make a visit to the Berkshires in their first two weeks to announce their first bill filing. They have prioritized hiring members of the administration with ties to Western Mass, including Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao who attended Williams Colleges and has a home in Williamstown. Our administration is committed to continued collaboration with Western Mass officials and advocates to continue hiring and appointing strong leaders from across state.”

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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