Dooley announces run against Rausch for state Senate seat

By Stephen Peterson – The Sun Chronicle

State Rep. Shawn Dooley has set his sights on running for the state Senate seat now held by Becca Rausch.

Dooley, R-Norfolk, announced Thursday his intentions to challenge Rausch, D-Needham, in November.

The seat will be in the newly created Norfolk, Worcester, and Middlesex District, which includes Plainville, Wrentham and Norfolk among its 11 towns.

“I am running to bring a common sense, people focused approach back to government,” Dooley said in an emailed statement. “Over the past few years, some of our elected officials have been more focused on partisan posturing than serving the community. This has created a divisive environment more likely to be found in Washington than here in the Commonwealth.”

Dooley now represents the 9th Norfolk District and the new Senate district will encompass all but one precinct in it.

Dooley was first voted to office in a special election in January 2014 and has been re-elected four times.

Rausch is in her second two-year term representing the Bristol, Norfolk, and Middlesex District, which locally includes Attleboro, North Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham and Norfolk.

“I am excited to run for re-election to the Senate to continue representing the district I have served for the last several years,” Rausch said. “I have successfully championed so many of the issues that matter to my constituents: public health protections, uplifting workers and families, transparency and accountability, health care access, combating antisemitism and identity-based hatred, climate action, and more.

“Additionally, my team and I have helped thousands of people throughout the district access the government benefits and support they deserve, particularly through the difficulties of this pandemic.”

Dooley last year launched an unsuccessful bid to replace Jim Lyons as head of the state Republican party.

Dooley has tapped his former chief of staff, William Rigdon, to serve as campaign manager. Rigdon left the Statehouse in 2019 after a nearly three-year stint in the representative’s office.

He earlier served as assistant finance director in Gov. Charlie Baker’s office. Before being elected to the Statehouse, Dooley was town clerk and a school committee member in Norfolk.

He is a call firefighter/EMT with the Plainville Fire Department.

His wife, CiCi Van Tine, chairs the Norfolk Select Board.

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