Candidates in the competitive races affecting Weymouth this election – State Representative, State Senate and Congressional – gathered on Wednesday night at the Senior Center for three-minute speeches and meet-and-greets sponsored by the North Weymouth Civic Association.
Below are summaries of what the candidates said:
U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-MA
The Congressman spent much of his allotted time speaking about his background. Lynch grew up in South Boston and worked as an ironworker for nearly 20 years before joining the legislature on Beacon Hill. He earned a degree from Wentworth and a law degree from Boston College. Lynch has served in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation since 2001.
"I know what it is to work hard," Lynch said. "And I know what it is to stand in an unemployment line during tough times."
Not many members have his experience living paycheck to paycheck, Lynch said, adding that he brings a "common sense" approach to the debate in Washington.
Selvaggi, a Republican and U.S. Navy veteran, is challenging Lynch in the new 8th Congressional District. He is the grandson of immigrants and has a master's degree from Harvard's Kennedy School.
In addition to work experience in the software industry, Selvaggi created a company called Plaster Fun Time for families that has expanded throughout the state and now has 60 employees.
"I believe this race and this election is about the economy and creating jobs," Selvaggi said. "I understand what all small businesses are going through."
Selvaggi said if elected to Congress he will focus on making taxes, regulation and health care work for those small businesses and not against them. He also vowed to put an end to the $4 billion per day spending that is hurting the future prospects of the nation's children by adding to America's debt.
State Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth
Hedlund, who has served on Beacon Hill for most of the past 20 years, said he is glad to have competition in this year's race, that it is good for local democracy.
The senator's background is in business, having taken over Hedlund Motor Sales, Inc. as a teenager and now as co-owner of Four Square Restaurant in Weymouth Landing.
Focusing on North Weymouth, Hedlund said he will continue to work on issues such as the Fore River Bridge and sea wall construction. He also noted that Beacon Hill Roll Call called him the most independent state senator.
"I listen to each individual members' arguments," Hedlund said.
Davis, a Democrat opposing Hedlund, has 40 years of experience in the non-profit world, much of it helping non-profits learn better how to operate like businesses.
After canvassing more than 1,000 homes, Davis said she is in touch with the problems of Weymouth residents. "You're telling me what concerns you and I'm listening," she said.
Issues Davis said she will focus on include delays in development at SouthField and parking in Weymouth Landing.
State Rep. James M. Murphy, D-Weymouth
Murphy is a former criminal prosecutor born and raised in Weymouth. His focus, Murphy said on Wednesday, will be on bringing local aid to town, seniors and in general improving the quality of life.
"We work with you as a team," he said, speaking of residents. "We cannot do these things by ourselves."
Bob Montgomery Thomas
Challenging Murphy as a Independent-Constitutionalist Candidate, Thomas spoke broadly about American sacrifice and values, and also specifically his efforts to deny former Mayor David Madden's out-sized pension request.
"I’ve been working on behalf of the people because I believe the Republic has been under attack from many fronts," Thomas said. "A Republic is a nation of laws; not of men. But men lust for power and that’s exactly what the Framers tried to limit with our federal and state constitutions."