By Carley Dangona
WESTFIELD – A second candidate for former state Rep. Donald Humason Jr.’s seat – now a state senator – has come forward. A special election to fill the 4th Hampden District seat will take place on April 1.
At-large City Councilor Daniel Allie first announced his candidacy in January. He told Reminder Publications
that he intends to keep his council position if elected to the House of Representatives and will leave his full-time job to fulfill the duties of both offices. Allie, a Republican, faces fellow Army veteran Democrat John Velis in the primary.
“Don [Humason] and I looked for months to recruit somebody,” Allie said. “We asked all the legislative aides. It was not good timing. The special election has a very short time frame – I was one of the few people working towards it [referring to his campaign for the council].”
He said, “I can handle being a state representative and a city councilor.” Allie explained that when he returned to college in his forties, he worked three jobs, was a husband and a father of three, all at once.
Allie cited taxation rate as a reason for his entrance. “As a family man and a small business owner, I understand the impact that high taxes have on family budgets and job creation.”
If chosen for the office he plans to “continue the same level of constituent serve” as Humason and former representative and senator Michael Knapik established. Allie described their ability to serve the people as “legendary.”
Allie supports educational funding and local aid. He said he would be watchful of the Commonwealth’s spending. “The focus of the state needs to be creating jobs, lowering taxes, providing quality education and increasing local aid,” he said.
He commented that the state’s mismanagement of its spending has created many of the Commonwealth’s problems. He noted that while the state received $1 billion dollars in “unanticipated funds,” it still raised taxes a half billion dollars.
“Since 2008, our state budget has grown by $6 billion. That’s a lot of money,” he said, adding that at the same time, Westfield alone has lost approximately $5 million in local aid.
Allie credited his experience in the graphic design field as preparation to become an elected official. He currently runs TigerPress, an online printing company. He described the custom designing process, which “always starts with a blank piece of paper” and is shaped by “listening to people.” He said he has to ask good questions to understand the customer’s needs, as he does with constituents.
“I don’t want to be considered a politician, a statesman, yes. I am a concerned citizen looking at things objectively,” Allie said. He commented that politics has become “entrenched with political posturing” and that he will vote for all rule reforms to create transparency in government. He said he would vote across party lines if the motion were for the benefit of his constituents.
“Our system was meant for people to get involved. All these agendas, it political – they’re cutting the people out. The media and special interests groups have become the fourth and fifth branches of government. We live in the information age, but we’re missing information. People [have] become discouraged and feel like their voice doesn’t matter,” Allie said.
He cited the use of closed door sessions and self-imposed exemptions from the open meeting law by some Commonwealth officials as examples.
He continued, “There’s no end to the problems, but government isn’t always the answer. We need to be helping our friends and neighbors through issues. We’re all trying to make it through this life together.”