State Senate candidates debate in Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The two democrats who want to unseat Republican State Senator Donald Humason, debated each other in Holyoke Monday night, hoping to gain support for the upcoming September primary election.

Patrick Leahy and Christopher Hopewell met at the Holyoke Public library, and answered questions on subjects ranging from school safety to medical marijuana.

Leahy, a Holyoke Police Officer, drew applause from the audience when he voiced his support for complete legalization of all  marijuana. He said the state would benefit from taxing all of the pot that gets bought and sold.

Hopewell, a Northampton health care professional and chairman of the Holyoke Fire Commission, would only say that he believed there are many legitimate needs for medical marijuana and he supports the new state law that set up the process to open and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

Both candidates oppose casino gambling in Massachusetts.

Both candidates said it was important to have a democrat take the 2nd Hampden-Hampshire State Senate seat from Republican Don Humason because they feel a democrat would better represent the district.

The winner of the September 9th primary election will go on to face incumbent State Senator Donald Humason in the November 4th election for the 2nd Hampden-Hampshire State Senate seat.

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