HomeCATNews UpdatesA view from the polls: what motivated voters in Westford?

A view from the polls: what motivated voters in Westford?

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WESTFORD — Voters from across the political spectrum made their voices heard in a number of highly contested races on the state and local ballot.

WestfordCAT had the opportunity to speak with a number of voters and incumbents throughout Election Day.

Westford’s first time voters

Ben, Justin and Alex Jones, a group of Westford students arrived at Stony Brook to cast their ballots in their first election.

First time voters Ben Jones (left), Justin Jones and Alex Jones. (Photo/Ben Domaingue)

“It’s pretty exciting,” Ben Jones told WestfordCAT. “I’ve grown up and gone with my parents, but its like a new freedom you get. It really makes you feel like an adult.”

The triplets noted they were motivated by a common cause: women’s rights.

‘Supporting Asian American candidates’ 

A number of supporters campaigning for Republican challenger Raymond Xie for state representative and Dean Tran for U.S. Senate believed both chambers need additional Asian-American representation.

“Westford is changing, 25% of Westford are Asian residents, with most in the school system first generation immigrants,” Mingquan Zheng, who serves on Westford’s School Committee, told WestfordCAT.

He says the story of first generation Asian-American immigrants is “the American Dream.”

Mingquan Zheng, who serves on Westford’s School Committee supporting Asian-American candidates for office. (Photo/Ben Domaingue)

“We play by the rules, pay our taxes, that’s the story we want to carry on,” he said. “Most of us came here with no money, we came here from nothing. We go through the process and follow the rules.”

Zheng applauded the hard work of the campaign for Raymond Xie, noting that supporters knocked on over 1,000 doors and reached over 10,000 voters.

“No matter if we win or lose, it’s an inspiring story. Even if we lose, it’s a great story for the Asian community to come out and support.”

He continued,” Everybody will be touched by his [Raymond Xie] integrity.”

A word with incumbents: Rep. James Arciero

Rep. James Arciero and Sen. John Cronin were both present at Stony Brook School, holding signs with supporters and waving to voters.

Rep. James Arciero spoke with WestfordCAT on his hopes for his eighth term on Beacon Hill.

“Certainly housing is at the top of my docket, especially affordability. We have to continue to invest in education, especially at the vocational level,” Arciero told WestfordCAT. “We’ve learned about the importance in investments in mental health through the pandemic.”

He continued, “we need to continue to move forward with more services and more mental health services in our schools and on our campuses.”

Rep. James Arciero with his daughter Angelina at Stony Brook School. (Photo/Ben Domaingue)

Arciero also touted the legislature’s recent economic development bill, which invests $3.7 billion into the MBTA, low-income assistance programs, as well as funding for small businesses and hospitals.

The compromise, which was originally touted to include a bevy of short-term and permanent tax relief programs, were temporarily scrapped over concerns over Chapter 62F, where tax revenues exceeded a revenue cap set forth by Chapter 62F.

“There’s a lot of anticipated investments in this bill. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful and unique opportunity to represent the town I grew up in. It’s really gratifying that the work we do helps,” Arciero said.

Arciero noted he “felt great” about recent turnout, with a steady stream of voters arriving at their polling locations.

“People in our district are civic minded. I always trust that our communities will have a solid turnout.”

A word with incumbents: Sen. John Cronin 

Cronin, a freshman Senator whose district now includes Westford, noted he is proud of his campaign’s “positive message” and looks to continue his work from his first term.

“I think a lot of the challenges that Westford has are the same as the region,” Cronin told WestfordCAT. “People expect outstanding schools, or be it the library or public safety. They want to see people on Beacon Hill facing those challenges.”

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.