State senate candidates brought their debate to Brookline Tuesday, with incumbent Cynthia Creem boasting that she’s the proven leader and opponent Charles Rudnick arguing that she doesn’t get enough done.
Rudnick said that while sitting legislators debated casino gambling for weeks this summer, important bills were left unfinished, including a bill that would expand the state bottle law to require nickel deposits for water bottles.
Creem is a chief sponsor of the bottle bill, but Rudnick said simply being support of the bill is not enough.
“You actually need to get results and that is what I think we’re missing,” Rudnick said.
Rudnick was speaking at a candidate forum held by the Brookline Democratic Town Committee Tuesday in Brookline Town Hall. The forum included Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination in the state Senate race and for two state representative seats that represent portions of Brookline.
With no Republican challengers, the race for the First Middlesex and Norfolk seat representing Newton, and portions of Brookline and Wellesley will likely be decided when Creem and Rudnick face off in the Sept. 14 primary election
Creem, a six-term incumbent, said she has a strong record of accomplishments, including sponsoring a bill that expanded stem cell research and working to reform criminal sentencing in the state.
While both Creem and Rudnick oppose casino gambling and eliminating the state alcohol tax or reducing the sales tax, Creem said the difference between the two candidates is experience.
“The choice in this election is between someone who hopes to be a leader and someone who is proven to be a leader,” Creem said.
Rudnick, an attorney and former campaign manager for gubernatorial candidates Warren Tolman and Mark Roosevelt, has most recently worked as a communications director for a medical device company.
Also squaring off at the Democratic Town Committee’s forum Tuesday were the six candidates vying for the state’s 10th Suffolk House of Representative seat being vacated by Democrat Mike Rush. The seat represents West Roxbury, Roslindale and Brookline Precincts 14, 15 and 16, and no Republicans are running for the seat.
The Democrats include Brookline resident Pam Julian, West Roxbury residents Matthew Benedetti, Ed Coppinger, Paul Sullivan and Kelly Tynan, and Roslindale resident Robert Joyce.
The candidates have varying opinions on the proposal to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts.
Benedetti said he believes the state might need one casino because so many people now travel out of state to gamble and as a result Massachusetts loses a lot of revenue.
Coppinger said he’s not sold on slot machines, but he does support casinos in the state to boost revenue and create jobs.
Joyce said Massachusetts residents already spend more than residents in any other state and that he doesn’t think the gambling should be expanded.
Julian said she is against casino gambling in Massachusetts.
Tynan said she supports casinos and a limited amount of slot machines.
Sullivan said he would support one casino in Massachusetts and one “racino” combining a race track and a casino.
Also addressing Democrats at the forum Tuesday were the candidates vying for the 15th Suffolk seat in the House of Representatives, including incumbent Jeffrey Sanchez and challenger Jeffrey Herman. The seat represents portions of Boston and Brookline’s Precinct 5.
Herman, of Jamaica Plain, who said he works as a teacher in community centers throughout Boston, said he thinks public education in the city is horrid and needs to be reformed.
Sanchez, who’s held the 15th Suffolk seat since 2002, said he’s a product of Boston schools and he thinks it’s an insult to kids to call the schools deplorable. While the school system has challenges, he said Massachusetts is still ranks at the top in education nationwide.
“I don’t think that all the schools are deplorable,” he said. “There are great products in the public school system right now.”