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Democrats to have primary battle?

Powell pulls papers in 6th Worcester District race

Joanne Powell. (click for larger version)
February 28, 2011
Joanne Powell is so sure she has a strong enough chance to become state representative that she quit her job to run.

The former Dudley-Charlton School Committee member and, until last Friday, outreach person for the District Attorney's office took out papers to challenge Incumbent Geraldo Alicea in the 6th Worcester District's Democratic primary April 15.

That makes Powell the fifth potential candidate, but the first to make any of the party primaries a real contest. The others — Republican Peter Durant and independents Robert Cirba and Peter Boria — at this point only have to worry about the general election May 10, although Durant technically faces a primary, too.

"I believe that since 2006, when Rep. Alicea took office, our economy has gotten weaker and our job situation has gotten bad," Powell said when asked why she's running. "I believe the way he has voted has not helped things improve."

Specifically, she objected to Alicea's support of the sales and alcohol taxes and to his giving the governor the authority to make local aid cuts. Instead, she claims she'd "freeze any new initiatives," and not cut local aid while "examining the [budget] more thoroughly" for cuts elsewhere. But she's fairly vague at this point regarding what she'd actually do.

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

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