State Rep. Paul Mark officially announced his run for State Senate during an event at Park Square in Pittsfield on Monday. During the event, Mark was endorsed by his fellow State Representatives Tricia Farley-Bouvier, John Barrett III, and William "Smitty" Pignatelli. Roughly 30 supporters attended the event including Democrat officials and activists.

State Senator Adams Hinds' recent announcement that he would be running for Lt. Governor left the door open for Rep. Mark to try and take the leap from the job he has been serving in since 2010.

The Berkshire News Network caught up with the Peru Democrat today after his busy day for a few questions...

BNN: It’s interesting how things worked out with the redistricting and your timely decision to make a run for Adams Hinds Senate seat. Was your decision to run for the senate seat influenced by the possibility that the Berkshires is headed toward having only three districts? 

State Rep. Mark: “I chaired Redistricting last session and was charged with making sure we had a full, fair, and complete Census count throughout the state.  I think the state and the Berkshires did an excellent job getting that count out under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.  When we started to hear that Adam was going to leave to run statewide we also heard the possibility that Berkshire County could be split up between multiple Senate districts.  We worked as a delegation, both the Berkshire delegation and the western MA senators, to make sure that didn’t happen.  Protecting and preserving the voice of our region was the deciding factor in my decision.”

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BNN: You’ve been a State Rep. For more than a decade and you have apparently gained the respect of your fellow Berkshire Delegation State Reps. How does it feel to have their support? 

State Rep. Mark: “I was overwhelmed yesterday at the announcement and I feel incredibly honored to have the support of the people I work with most closely and who know my work best.  When I was a kid working at the phone company and going through law school at night, I knew who Smitty, Tricia, and John were as leaders in the community.  I could have imagined even in 2009 that this would be possible someday.  It feels amazing and makes me want to work as hard as possible to continue earning their endorsements.”

BNN: You mentioned during your official announcement in Pittsfield’s Park Square on Monday that you want to make a difference for working families. Can expound on that a bit? 

State Rep. Mark: “When I think about why I first ran for office and why I am running for Senate now I always think back to my story which I think is similar to our story as a region here in the Berkshires.  I think of kids who are embarrassed to let their friends know their family is struggling financially.  I think of students who could have graduated college if they had a chance at adequate funding.  I think of workers who would strike out into their own businesses if they had access to guaranteed healthcare.  Making a difference means opening as many doors to opportunity as possible and I mean the opportunities that make our lives and the lives of our children better and give us all a chance to have success.”

Via Paul Mark Facebook by permission: Supporters at Mark's announcement on Monday included State Reps. Smitty Pignatelli (far right) and John Barrett III (second from right)

 

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