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Grassroots Group Hosts SB Candidates

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Friday night’s meet-and-greet event at the Woodville Rod & Gun Club in Hopkinton was a casual open-house event where all candidates for the Select Board, regardless of political affiliation, gathered to meet voters on a personal level. This event was made possible by a group of Hopkinton residents advocating for transparent governance, and by all accounts, it was a tremendous success.

This is the first election in Hopkinton since residents voted to eliminate partisan elections. Candidates’ affiliations with political parties, such as “Democratic Caucus Nominee” or “Republican Caucus Nominee,” will no longer appear on the ballot for public office, and political parties are prevented from caucusing to choose their candidates.

The May 2023 contested election for the School Committee was marred by incidents of pseudonyms, newsjacking, and fake news, driven by partisan politics. However, this meet-and-greet marked a new chapter for the town, with candidates treating each other respectfully and working together toward the common goal of making Hopkinton a better place for all.

Each candidate took a few minutes to share their thoughts on the current Select Board, the challenges facing the town – such as retaining employees and managing finances – and how they would address them.

HopNews reached out to all candidates for their perspective on the meet-and-greet. Although we couldn’t reach Peter Mimmo before this went to print, Brian Herr, Joe Clark, and Kyla McSweeney praised the informal format and valued the opportunity to engage with voters.

Mr. Mimmo, a civil litigation attorney, plans to hold open office hours if elected. He also proposes creating an Economic Development Advisory Board and seeks to make full use of the town’s MassBio Platinum status to revitalize the South Street corridor. Additionally, he aims to resolve the PFAS problem in Hopkinton’s water supply.

Joe Clark, a lifelong resident of Hopkinton, emphasized public service over politics. His enthusiasm for balancing tax relief while encouraging more business was warmly received.

Brian Herr, a 24-year resident of Hopkinton and former four-term Select Board member, highlighted the event’s success, stating, “It is clear to me that the residents of Hopkinton care deeply about our town and are looking for a reset on the Board. The expectations of voters are within reason and attainable. If elected, I’m confident we can move the town in the direction we all want.”

Kyla McSweeney, a licensed attorney, expressed her appreciation for the format, saying, “I feel like we are having really good discourse and respectful discussions. It’s almost too bad that the four of us won’t be serving together.”

Overall, the event showed that despite differing viewpoints, candidates can come together in a spirit of cooperation. Several audience members commented that this bodes well for Hopkinton’s future.

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