For Immediate Release Contact: Natalie Higgins – 978-602-3772
Date: August 24, 2016
LEOMINSTER - Natalie Higgins, Democratic Candidate for State Representative for the 4th Worcester District, is excited for the opportunity to debate her opponent Rick Marchand on the issues that are important to the voters of Leominster. After Mr. Marchand originally turned down the Leominster Champion’s invitation to debate Ms. Higgins, the Higgins Campaign had prepared a press release that was sent out stressing the importance of having a debate early enough to give the people of Leominster a chance to consider the candidates’ responses. The day after the press release was sent out, Mr. Marchand suddenly found the time to debate Ms. Higgins the week prior to the September 8th primary elections, even though he had already told the Sentinel and Enterprise he was only available on August 29th, which happens to be the date the Sentinel and Enterprise had already arranged a debate for the 3rd Worcester District candidates. Marchand told the Leominster Champion that he was not available for any of the three dates they had proposed, which surprisingly included August 29th. After finding the time to debate Ms. Higgins, Mr. Marchand proposed 10am-noon Monday, August 29th and 4pm-6pm Thursday, September 1st. Wanting to give Leominster voters a chance to absorb the outcome of the debate and not interfere with the holiday weekend, Ms. Higgins has agreed to the date of August 29th despite the inconvenient time slot for those that are working. There are currently two debates that have been arranged between Ms. Higgins and Mr. Marchand on the dates of August 29th - hosted by the Leominster Champion, and September 6th - hosted by the Sentinel and Enterprise.
“I tried to be as accommodating as possible with Mr. Marchand’s schedule, and was even willing to hold the debate August 30th, the date of my fundraiser, if that’s what it took to give the people of Leominster the opportunity to learn more about their Democratic Candidates’ knowledge and positions on the issues. The State Representative position of our community is something I take very seriously,” said Natalie Higgins.
“If Mr. Marchand is having this much trouble prioritizing his schedule as a candidate, I question his dedication to the State Representative position, and can’t imagine how he believes he can continue serving as a City Councilor, if elected,” said Gloria Bachand, Higgins’ Campaign Manager.
Higgins is humbled and overwhelmed by the support she has received from Leominster voters and also feels her candidacy is validated by the many endorsements she has received. Endorsing organizations include: Mass Voters for Animals; Mass Nurses Association; Massachusetts AFL-CIO; Mass Care; Environmental League of MA; National Association of Social Workers; MassEquality; Massachusetts National Organization of Women; NARAL; Mass Women’s Political Caucus; Sierra Club Mass; Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 4; International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4; SEIU Local 509; 1199SEIU; SEIU Local 888; SEIU State Council; Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists (MOSES); and Clean Water Action.
Higgins states, “Debates are a great opportunity for voters to learn about the candidates’ values and priorities side-by-side, so that they can feel confident in their decision when heading to the polls. Leominster deserves a strong and accessible State Representative, and that is why I so insistent on securing an earlier date. And I want to thank the Leominster Champion and the Sentinel and Enterprise for organizing these important opportunities for voters.”
The Democratic primary election takes place on Thursday, September 8th.