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LETTER: How Many Times Have You Heard An Elected Official Say They Were Wrong?

As a former State Representative and a Democrat, I want to share with the voters of the First Middlesex District why I unequivocally endorse Republican Sheila Harrington in her quest for reelection.
     We have all been battered by bitter and poisonous partisan bickering. The battles have not only been tiresome, they are dangerous. The constant negative noise discourages voters and erodes their confidence to evaluate candidates.
     This is precisely why I am writing today. I served with Sheila Harrington since she was first elected in 2010 until I retired in 2019. I feel blessed to have witnessed Representative Harrington do something I have never seen any other elected official do in my 45 years of political activism.
     In the middle of a debate on an extremely contentious vote, Sheila Harrington told one hundred and eighty colleagues that while listening to testimony during the hearings, she realized that her position was wrong. She took my breath away.
How many times have you heard an elected official say that she/he was wrong?
     As a highly respected member of the Joint Judiciary Committee, Sheila Harrington then explained point by legal point why she was changing her vote. She then addressed the humanity of the issue. Every member of the chamber was at the edge of their seat.
     Sheila is no pawn for Republican leaders. She does her homework and works hard for justice for everyone.
     I have watched Sheila work day and night for the people of her district. But the kind of courage and strength that Sheila displayed on that contentious vote was historic.
     Imagine if we had that kind of leadership in Washington today?
     Legislators are going to be faced with harrowing choices and gut-wrenching votes when they begin a new session on Beacon Hill. The state will have to find FIVE BILLION dollars to make to make up for the deficits caused by the pandemic. Sheila has had a decade of experience in cutting budgets in ways that consolidate services to minimize any hardship the cuts may cost. This experience is critical, now more than ever. It takes a long time to develop the experience to fully serve constituents and to develop the knowledge necessary to make wise choices.
     The voters of the First Middlesex District are lucky to have State Representative Sheila Harrington on their side as we face the challenges of these unprecedented times. She deserves your vote for reelection of November 3.
Cory Atkins
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