Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
Brian Herr, on the left, met with Republicans at Pittsfield campaign headquarters Thursday morning.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Brian Herr says U.S. Senator Edward Markey is disrespecting voters by dodging the campaign.
The Republican Herr is challenging Markey for the seat but the incumbent has done little to no campaigning. Only one debate between the two candidates has been held and the race has seen little interest across the state.
Herr says Markey's lack of a campaign is disrespectful because it doesn't give Massachusetts voters an opportunity to make up their minds. Markey's avoidance has also made it tougher for Herr to gain name recognition because of the overall lack of interest in the Senate campaign.
"Sen. Markey's strategy is to not campaign. Sen. Markey refused to debate us again. He refuses to come and do things like this. He hasn't traveled across the state extensively and meeting voters one on one. The strategy is to keep this race as low profile as possible," Herr said on Thursday during a campaign stop to Pittsfield.
"If he doesn't campaign a lot of people in the media — in Boston in particular — don't cover the campaign. If they don't cover him, they don't cover the campaign, they don't cover us."
He said the lack of energy Markey is putting into the campaign is "undemocratic." Meanwhile, the race for governor has been stealing the spotlight across the state.
"If Sen. Markey really wanted to talk to the voters of Massachusetts, he would have done so. His decision not to do that is a disservice to the people," Herr said.
The Malden Democrat and former U.S. representative won the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013; this is his first run for a full term. Markey has not campaigned in the Berkshires this election but Thursday was Herr's second visit.
With less than two weeks remaining, the Hopkinton Republican is ramping up efforts to be heard. He'll be launching a series of advertisements to show the contrast between him and Markey.
"We also knew it would be a two-week race and we are in the middle of that two-week furor," Herr said.
He'll need a strong effort as most of the polls show Markey winning the election easily. And he is still challenging Markey for more debates after being rebuffed in his request for them to meet in debates across the state.
"We'd do whatever it takes to go in front of the voters and compare and contrast the two candidates," Herr said.
Despite trailing, Herr said he believes he can win the election. He says there is a huge group of undecided voters that he hopes to get on his side at the Nov. 4 election.
"We are stuck politically and as a result our economy continues to sputter. People in Massachusetts want new ideas. They want new blood. They want new energy," Herr said.
He says his 30 years in the private sector mixed with years of being active in politics creates a "good mix" for the seat. He previously ran for U.S. Senate in 2010. For more information on Herr, click here.
"We can definitely get this done even though it is a quiet race. I don't care if I am the least known Senator in American history. It doesn't matter to me. It is about Massachusetts," Herr said.
He added that in the last few weeks fund raising has ramped up after a "difficult" start to the campaign.
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