On November 24, 2018, Representative-Elect Natalie Blais (1st Franklin) filed for intervenor status with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline upgrade application. The pipeline and compressor station upgrade projects included in the application are part of and necessary for the Columbia Gas “Reliability Project” that would pump more gas into Columbia’s Northampton and Greater Springfield Service Areas.
Thank you to the residents of the First Franklin District who cast their vote for me. Just as I did on Election Day, I will show up for all 19 communities of this district as your State Representative. I look forward to working alongside you to bring the voices of western Massachusetts to the halls of the Massachusetts State House.
Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, won the 1st Franklin District in an unopposed race. The district contains many Hampshire County communities. Blais, who is the executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, won a seven-way primary for the Democratic Party nomination in September. She will replace the seat’s longtime Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, who is retiring.
Natalie Blais, Democratic candidate for the First Franklin House District, has won the Massachusetts Democratic primary, earning 3,703 votes, or 40.44%.
Natalie Blais is one of the people who helped me survive the worst period of my life. In December 2012, my 55-year-old husband Dave went in for what we thought would be a 3 hour kidney operation. It turned into a 142 day nightmare when he suffered a brain injury during the surgery. Dave died the following May.
Recently, when Blais was explaining why she worked for people like Sanders, Olver and McGovern, she said she only works for people she believes in. And now she wants to work for us, for the same reason.
Today, Natalie Blais, candidate for State Representative for the First Franklin district, received the endorsement of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters Local 336.
Retiring State Representative Steve Kulik, widely admired for his 25 years of distinguished service to the First Franklin District, announced today that he is endorsing Natalie Blais for election as the district’s next state legislator.
In the statehouse, you are assigned a seat. The seat that Representative Steve Kulik sits in was the seat that I sat in. It is the same seat that my father sat in before me. I believe it is high time for a woman to take this seat in the House chamber and I believe the best person to take that seat is Natalie Blais. I hope you will join me in supporting Natalie Blais with your vote on September 4th.
The First Franklin District is primarily rural. Policies written for urban areas don’t fit our local towns and communities. If elected to represent the 19 towns of this district, I would work collaboratively with the western Massachusetts delegation to establish an Office of Rural Policy. The western Massachusetts delegation could work collaboratively with the Office of Rural Policy to be a strong voice in Boston, spelling out our concerns for economic development, transportation, affordable housing, schools, social services, and infrastructure like broadband.
“Having served as a State Representative in the legislature for the past 16 years, I know what it takes to get the job done. I can tell you that there will be a tremendous learning curve for whoever wins this seat,” said Scibak. “This fall, more than any other time, we must elect a candidate who clearly understands, from day one, the way local, state and federal government works. This year, we cannot afford to elect someone who will be learning the job as they go. That’s why I’m with Natalie 100%.”
Today, Natalie Blais, Democratic candidate for State Representative, First Franklin District, called on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to enter into a multi-year contract to process Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) benefits at farmers' markets.
“We need to be looking at over $6 million to make sure the HIP program is adequately funded, and that we’re not running into this issue time and time again … It is critical for the economic welfare of our small businesses, our small farms,” and pointed to a more immediate problem at the federal level — the contract for the data firm handling HIP accounts runs out at the end of July.
On Saturday, July 14, Natalie Blais, candidate for State Representative for the First Franklin District, will be meeting constituents in Williamsburg, Whately, Sunderland, and Turners Falls to talk about the future of the district and hear directly from voters.
MWPC pointed to Blais’ experience, her commitment to public service after working for U.S. Representatives John Olver and Jim McGovern, and her longtime residency in western Massachusetts.
“I am truly grateful for the endorsement of the MWPC and for their belief in my candidacy,” said Blais. “The MWPC has worked tirelessly to educate and engage voters on the necessity of increasing the number of women in public office.”
“After participating in the five candidate forums held to date, I’ve seen all the candidates up close and have concluded that Natalie Blais offers the best fit to represent the First Franklin District at this time. She has strong qualifications and is putting together a strong campaign,” said Baker. “And if the voters agree, they will have the added benefit of increasing the number of women serving in the State Legislature.”
In a statement issued today, retired U.S. Representative John W. Olver endorsed Natalie Blais in the race to succeed retiring State Representative Steve Kulik.
The First Franklin District cannot do better than Natalie Blais. She has the energy, values and preparation that will allow her to succeed in this challenging job.
“Together, we strongly endorse Natalie Blais’ candidacy for the First Franklin District,” said Donelan, Merrigan and Sullivan. “Natalie was at the table with us the very first day the Opioid Task Force was formed and has been a partner in efforts to prevent opioid addiction and expand access to treatment and recovery.”