TEWKSBURY/WILMINGTON — On Oct. 1, at 7 p.m., the Tewksbury Republican and Democratic Town Committees hosted a debate at Tewksbury Town Hall between the two candidates running for the State Representative seat for the 19th Middlesex District.
The 19th Middlesex District includes residents from Tewksbury precincts 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 4 and 4A and Wilmington precincts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.
Democrat David Robertson, as the incumbent, is running for his second term as Representative. His opponent is Republican Alec DiFruscia.
Robertson has been a resident of Tewksbury all his life, and graduated from Tewksbury Memorial High School. As described on his campaign website:
“Rep. Robertson is committed to our community, a local who knows the issues and details of the problems of today while looking towards a better tomorrow. From working with our local municipal officials to fix Route 38 to securing funding for better schools and public services in our hometowns, he keeps a local focus on what we all envision as a better 19th Middlesex District. He has lived in the district his entire life, and graduated from Tewksbury High, later attending UMass Amherst earning degrees in Economics and Political Science. He is also a proud Eagle Scout of Troop 47.”
His past experience involves interning for late Representative Jim Miceli, and working as Chief of Staff and legislative aide.
In his first term, Robertson prides himself on being able to provide financial and legislative assistance to first responders in Wilmington and Tewksbury, work with local schools to “bring millions of dollars to each school system over the next several years,” and “return money to rebuild and refurbish parts of the Wilmington Senior Center to extend its life until a new center is built (and is a huge proponent of ensuring that a new senior center is built),” among other accomplishments listed on his campaign website.
As listed on his campaign website, Robertson intends to focus on the following issues in his second term: Route 38, 40B housing, businesses, the new elementary school for Tewksbury, the opioid epidemic, and immigration.
On Route 38, he plans to “work with local boards and businesses to push for aid and development to reduce congestion on this vital highway.”
In terms of 40B housing, Robertson states: “Generations who built our towns and young families are struggling with housing costs. In addition, both towns will be required to address a 40B housing shortage. I will work with government developers and residents to solve these issues, while preserving the feel of our community.”
Robertson wants to bring back businesses, particularly small businesses, into the towns of Wilmington and Tewksbury, as he believes “Wilmington and Tewksbury have economic opportunities waiting to arise in unused properties.”
In elementary education, Robertson vows to continue to fight for K-4 education and assist in building the new elementary school for Tewksbury and improve resources.
Robertson also promises to continue helping individuals and families that have been affected by opioids and help them along their recovery, and states that “Massachusetts needs to overhaul its drug laws to target the end result of chemical compounds rather than criminalizing one drug at a time. The bureaucracy here is literally killing citizens. We need to create a flexible and responsive set of laws to allow our men and women in the police to stop drug distributors.”
Finally, in terms of immigration, Robertson heavily opposes sanctuary cities, allowing illegal immigrants from voting in local elections, or receiving state ID or driver’s licenses.
As outlined on his campaign Facebook page, Robertson recently received endorsements from the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, the New England Police Benevolence Association, and the Mass Chiefs of Police. As he posted:
“As your state representative we have fought for new fire stations in both towns, upgrading fleet vehicles and life-saving equipment, and providing the highest standard of training. I will always be the first to respond to first responders with their requests, and are proud to call these brave men and women not only just colleagues in public service, but friends.”
Additionally, in an open letter, former Selectman Mike Champoux and his wife Doreen Champoux endorsed Robertson, saying, “David possesses unique qualities worthy of our respect and support. We have gotten to know David through the years, when he worked for his predecessor Jim Miceli and now as our State Rep. His default position is kindness.
“This should not be understated. Kindness, respect and understanding as a foundation guide David as he legislates at the State House representing the people of Massachusetts' 19th Middlesex District. David's ability and willingness to think critically and vote with his mind and his conscience rather than along party lines make him an example of a true representative of our district.”
Remember to vote on Nov. 3, as it is both the United States presidential election, and where Tewksbury and Wilmington voters can vote for their State Representative, whether they choose David Robertson or Alec DiFruscia.