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Neal views record as his strongest asset

Richard Neal. (click for larger version)
October 10, 2010
Democratic Congressman Richard Neal intends to keep the seat he has held in the U.S. House since 1988, but for the first time in several years he faces opposition.

The Springfield native is up for reelection next month and will be facing off against Hopedale Republican Tom Wesley for the Second Congressional District of Massachusetts, which encompasses an area stretching from the Connecticut River to the Blackstone Valley.

Despite a measurable climate of anti-incumbent sentiment around the nation fueled by the Tea Party movement and relatively unknown GOP candidates emerging to take on longstanding politicians, Neal said his accomplishments in Congress should be the litmus test for his value as a lawmaker — not the length of time he has held the position.

"I think the better measurement, really, is whether or not one has been effective," Neal said. "I think that it's pretty clear to friend and foe alike that I've been an effective member of the House of Representatives."

"I know how to get things done," he added.

In the last few years alone, Neal said he has appointed numerous South County and Blackstone Valley area students to various national military academies, secured funding for public safety equipment in towns, provided emergency flood assistance, and is now working toward seeing the resurfacing of Route 146 through to fruition and finding a home for a Quinsigamond Community College satellite campus in the Blackstone Valley. Last year, QCC established a satellite in Southbridge, with assistance from Neal.

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

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