Reacting to news of a democratic challenger for the 3rd Middlesex Seat she’s held for 15 years, state Sen. Susan Faro, D-Lincoln, said it’s nice to see a familiar face – especially one she hasn’t seen for a while.
Earlier this week, representing Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham, Weston, and parts of Lexington and Sudbury.
Barrett, 63, has a history of involvement in state politics, including a stint as a state senator from Cambridge from 1987 to 1994, when he left the seat to run for governor and lost.
That’s also the last time Fargo lost an election, something she was quick to point out in a phone interview with Patch earlier this week.
“My track record is very good,” said Fargo. “I’ve run in 10 elections, including for selectman in Lincoln, and have only lost once, to Jay Kaufman.”
In 1994, Fargo and state Rep. Jay Kaufman, D-Lexington both sought to replace state Rep. Stephen Doran. Kaufman prevailed, but Fargo didn’t go away.
Two years later, she won a seat in the state Senate and has since served on a number of legislative committees, including a post as the joint chair on the Committee for Public Health.
Heading into the 2012 elections, Fargo faces opposition from new—or, in Barrett’s case, renewed—blood from both inside and , but she doesn’t see this cycle as being any different than past campaigns.
“I have a very strong record and none of the other people who have expressed an interest in running can match that record,” she said, pointing to healthcare reform and planned improvements to Crosby’s Corner on Route 2. “The campaign is a chance to address issues, to talk about what I’ve accomplished, the challenges I see coming in the next to years and to hear from people. I think sometimes we forget that a campaign is as much about listening as it is about talking.”
Among the issues where Fargo believes her experience could prove vital to her district and her state, for that matter, revolve around health reform and Hanscom Air Force Base.
Regarding the former, Fargo said she intents to take up the issue of payment reform after the senate reconvenes after the New Year.
As for Hanscom, Fargo said her experience could be key to any efforts to safeguard the base’s future through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
Last time around, back in 2005, Fargo said then Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Ted Kennedy were key figures, along with a coalition formed to fight pressure to close the base, which acts as a local center for resources and development.
“To keep Hanscom open and vital and vibrant will require experienced people and, so far, I’m the only one with that experience,” said Fargo. “The stakes are very, very high not only for Lincoln, not only for this region, but for the state as a whole. We are beginning to put the pieces together of the coalition that will have to be effective in Washington to keep the base open. A freshman senator would have a hard time playing that role.”