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Officials have mixed views of new federal districts

Neal's new-look 1st District sees many changes

Richard Neal. (click for larger version)
November 22, 2011
A quick look at the new Congressional district map the Legislature approved last week shows some significant changes , at least for some towns.

But local officials therein have quite different views of whether they're positive changes.

Most noticeable in our part of the state is that Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton are now in the same district as Pittsfield and Great Barrington — the new 1st District, with incumbent Richard Neal, D-Springfield. He essentially keeps about half of his old towns and inherits many of those currently represented by John Olver of Amherst, who is retiring. But that reorganization means quite a few towns that now look west will be looking toward Worcester instead, including the Interstate 395 corridor, such towns as Leicester, Spencer and North Brookfield, and even such far-flung cities as Greenfield and Northampton. They're now in the 2nd District, held by James McGovern, D-Worcester.

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

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