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Alicea ready for debates with Durant

September 20, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Even though they have yet to debate, both candidates for the 6th Worcester District state representative seat are already squaring off.

Incumbent Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton, last week accepted a challenge to five debates last week from his Republican challenger, Peter Durant, of Spencer. Both men are still trying to schedule the events, hoping for one debate in each of the district's towns, Oxford, Spencer, East Brookfield, Southbridge and Charlton.

Neither candidate wasted time giving a preview of what voters will likely see when the two men enter the political arena. Durant took issue with what he saw as Alicea's failing to keep the former branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles from leaving Southbridge last year. Durant said Alicea allowed the branch to be shut down, when legislators in other districts persuaded the agency to not close other offices.

"Geraldo has had four years in office. I feel he has largely been ineffective," Durant said. "It is inconceivable to me that that is accomplishment. That issue alone should be enough to demonstrate that he is a back-bencher."

After more than a year of work, the RMV plans to open a new branch on Monday, Sept. 27 at the former Casuabon Senior Center in Southbridge. Alicea referenced that work in response to Durant's criticism.

"We were able to deliver something very special to the community and the surrounding communities," he said. "It has been resolved. It is back in Southbridge. I kept my promise."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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