WESTFIELD — City Councilor Bridget Matthews-Kane recently announced she will run for state representative in the district that includes Southampton and most of Westfield.

She will run as a Democrat. The district is currently represented by state Rep. Kelly Pease (R-Westfield), who confirmed he will run for reelection.

Matthews-Kane, who was elected in 2023 to her third term as Ward 3 councilor, said she started considering a bid for the state House after a constituent asked her to run.

“I really think Westfield and Southampton need strong and effective leadership on Beacon Hill. We cannot count on eastern Mass. to fight the battles that Western Mass. needs to be fought,” she said.

Matthews-Kane originally ran for City Council after a career in education, because she believed her experience working as a grassroots organizer in her neighborhood on zoning issues would serve her well on the council. Having grown up in Ward 3, she said she wanted to work hard to make sure the downtown neighborhoods would remain a wonderful place to live for future generations.

Over the past five years, Matthews-Kane has served on several council subcommittees, including the Finance Committee, where she currently serves as chair. She also serves on the Franklin Avenue School Building Committee.

She said promoting affordability will be a big part of her House campaign.

“It’s increasingly hard to live in the commonwealth,” she said. “It’s important that the middle class can afford to live here.”

She said in her role as councilor, voters often tell her about problems that can’t be addressed at the city level. She also said she’s taken on municipal causes — such as fighting light pollution from parking lots — that were not her original priorities but were suggested by constituents. She said she’d “bring that same openness to the state House” if elected.

“I’m really interested in listening to what people have to say about their concerns at the state level, and what they would like me to focus on,” she said.

Matthews-Kane grew up in Westfield and graduated from St. Mary’s Parish School and Westfield High School. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Tim Matthews, and they have four children. Besides serving on the City Council, she also serves on the advisory board for Blue Star Families of New England, an organization devoted to supporting military-connected families in New England.

Pease, the incumbent in the seat, is a Republican serving his second term in the House of Representatives. He did not have an opponent in 2022.

“I have turned in my nomination papers to the secretary of state and I am on the ballot for this fall. I am planning to do a formal re-election campaign kick-off on May 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sons of Erin pavilion,” Pease said when contacted for a comment.

The district covers all of Southampton. In Westfield, it covers all  of the city except a small portion of Precinct 2A and a larger portion of Precinct 6B. Those two areas, on the eastern side of the city, are part of a district represented by state Rep. Michael Finn (D-West Springfield).

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