Stow resident Dean Cavaretta announced this week that he will run for the state Senate seat now occupied by Senator James Eldridge, who will is seeking a third term.
Cavaretta, a registered Republican, is a former high school social studies teacher and state transportation official. He said in a prepared statement that he would pursue legislation to make Massachusetts's economy more competitive by focusing on education and jobs.
As a former transportation official under former Governor Paul Cellucci, and later with Keville Enterprises, Inc., Cavaretta said he worked with municipalities, design and construction companies on road, bridge and transit projects.
"I'll use my skills as a former teacher to support accountable and local education reform,'' he said. "And as a former state transportation official, I am uniquely positioned to accelerate much needed reforms with both parties to benefit our state economy,"
Eldridge, a Democrat, welcomed Cavaretta to the race.
"I've always had a Republican opponent," Eldridge said in an interview. "Competitive elections are good for democracy, so I'm looking forward to the campaign and already have mine up and running."
Communities in the district include Marlborough, Acton, Ayer, Boxborough, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Shirley, Stow, Sudbury, Harvard, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough.
Cavaretta said that he wants to provide Medicare exclusively for seniors and institute pro-growth policies promoting the free market. He will not support new state or federal taxes during the recession.
“I support holding the line on new taxes and out of control public debt. I do not support picking winners or losers in our tax code or propping up any one corporation or private industry," Cavaretta said. "The commercial vacancy rate on our main streets and Route 495 is 50 percent. We must allow Massachusetts to become more competitive for all small businesses.”
Cavaretta has filed a bill in the Senate, “An Act to Make MA Competitive for New Jobs,” outlining his economic plan.
Cavaretta said he would also focus on policies that grant higher performing school districts more autonomy over school building assistance, regional agreements and curriculum decisions.
He said he also supports an MCAS Exam for US History and increasing state funds for training rookie teachers.
Eldridge said that Cavaretta's filed proposal does not align with his other promises.
"It would cut state income and sales taxes, which would result in the loss of billions of dollars," Eldridge said. "There's a disconnect. You can't increase education spending if you reduce state revenue."
Eldridge said he has helped close corporate tax loopholes to raise revenue for services and education.
"I have always been a proponent of fair taxation," Eldridge said.
Eldridge said in his two terms, he has helped funnel tens of millions of dollars each into water infrastructure and into improving the Worcester and Fitchburg commuter rail.
The upgraded train not only makes it easier to commute into Boston, but also for workers to commute into the MetroWest region, which supports local companies, he said.
Eldridge also said enhancing water treatment not only helps protect the resource, but also expands economic development, since developers seek to build close to water sources.
Eldridge said that he wants the opportunity to keep pushing.
"I fought hard for local aid and trying to prevent cuts to education and local aid, but I certainly think there's a lot more work to be done in healthcare, the environment, and creating jobs, and that’s why I'm running for reelection," Eldridge said.
Cavaretta attended Northeastern University in Boston for both his undergraduate and master's degrees. He graduated in 1989 from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
The election will take place Nov. 6.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com