One of the more interesting races in the upcoming Sept. 6 primary election is for the open District 8 Governor’s Council seat. There are four Democrats running to fill the seat vacated by former Mayor of Springfield Mary Hurley. Of the contending candidates, I am voting for the one choice who is not an attorney, Tara Jacobs. Tara is a community leader from North Adams who is ready for the challenge of being dedicated to the role of being a true impartial representative.
What Western Massachusetts needs is a councilor who can objectively consider a nominee’s qualifications. The other three candidates, who are all attorneys, assume that they can take politics out of this position. In reality, that would simply not be possible. This is due to the fact that any attorney has a professional and personal interest to appease any current judges, as well as soon to be judges. It’s basic human nature to ease one’s own professional path, especially if these attorneys are also practicing law full-time while holding such an important position.
Besides, judges and Parole Board members don’t work only with lawyers, they work with community members, elected officials, crime victims, the incarcerated and the children, and families of all aforementioned. Given the overwhelming number of attorneys already involved in the nomination and confirmation of those candidates, there needs to be an objective voice on the Governor’s Council that represents the more than 800,000 residents of the district who are not part of the legal community.