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Naughton Ends Campaign for Attorney General

Clinton state representative says he’ll run for re-election instead.

State Rep. Harold Naughton. Credit: Patch
State Rep. Harold Naughton. Credit: Patch

A local state representative has decided to abandon his run for attorney general of Massachusetts and instead, will attempt to win his current seat back this fall.

State Rep. Harold Naughton, D-Clinton, a veteran who serves Boylston, Clinton, Northborough, Sterling, and Lancaster, said after a deployment ceremony at Fort Devens on Feb. 7, he realized that the time spent trying to attain statewide office would take away from his family, his service in the Army Reserves, and his current job as a state representative.

“The amount of time required to successfully perform my military duties, provide strong representation to the people the 12th Worcester District, and be a husband and dad, has made it impractical to continue my campaign for Attorney General,” he wrote. “After long consideration with my wife Ellen and our children, I have decided to end my campaign for Attorney General and again seek the honor of representing the people of the 12th Worcester District in the House of Representatives. This decision was not made easily, but there is only so much time in the day.”

Naughton noted that other retirements in the Legislature would create “a void of experience on Beacon Hill” and he enjoyed working in the House.

Naughton, according to his LinkedIn.com profile, has served in the Legislature since 1995 and also served overseas in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

According to Politics1.com, a website that tracks candidates across the country, a number of candidates remain in the race.

Maura Healey, the ex-Attorney General's Office Civil Rights Bureau Chief; Peter Koutoujian, the Middlesex County Sheriff and former state representative; and Warren Tolman, a former state Senator and gubernatorial candidate, were all vying for the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Michael Sullivan, a former U.S. Attorney; state Sen. Bruce Tarr, the minority leader; and former District Court Judge Dan Winslow, were seeking their party’s nomination.

The deadline for candidates to file in the major party primaries is June. Independents have to file by July 29. The primary is Sept. 9.

Naughton’s full statement is below:

“On Friday I attended the deployment ceremony for the 379th Engineer Company at Fort Devens. As I watched the soldiers prepare to depart, I thought back to the days following September 11, 2001, when I decided to join the United States Army Reserve. 

I joined the Army to do my small part to protect our country and secure our Commonwealth; to do good on a broader basis, as a citizen soldier. The desire to do good on a broader basis has guided each step of my public service career, and this same goal guided my decision to run for Attorney General.  I knew that a statewide campaign would be extremely time consuming, but I also pledged to continue my commitment to my family, the Army Reserves and the House of Representatives.

Over the past several weeks, my duties with the United States Army Reserve have begun to require more and more time. As the war in Afghanistan enters its final stages, I have been assigned to the US Department of State Political-Military Bureau, working on Rule of Law and Status of Forces Agreements from my base here in Massachusetts. This obligation has come to require more and more of my nights and weekends. 

At the same time, I am continuing to address critical issues at the State House, most prominently the gun safety legislation in front of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and the pending FY ‘15 Budget.  For nearly 20 years I have served the people of the 12th Worcester District, and I want to ensure they get the same level of representation from me today that they have for the past two decades.

The amount of time required to successfully perform my military duties, provide strong representation to the people the 12th Worcester District, and be a husband and dad, has made it impractical to continue my campaign for Attorney General. After long consideration with my wife Ellen and our children, I have decided to end my campaign for Attorney General and again seek the honor of representing the people of the 12th Worcester District in the House of Representatives. 

This decision was not made easily, but there is only so much time in the day. Family, my military service and legislative experience have been the cornerstones of my campaign, and I cannot turn my back on these commitments now. It’s clear that what little free time I have should be spent in my district or with my family, and not campaigning across the state.

With challenges come opportunities. Changes in the legislature, including the retirements of Senator Brewer and Representative Peterson – two of the most senior members from Central Massachusetts – will leave a void of experience on Beacon Hill. I have always enjoyed my tenure in the House. If honored with reelection, I would be one of the most senior members of the Legislature west of the City of Boston. This experience and seniority would enhance my ability to represent the people of the 12th Worcester District, as well as the Central Massachusetts region. 

One of the joys of the past several months has been meeting people from all across Massachusetts, many of whom have pledged to support my candidacy for Attorney General. To them, I extend my personal, sincere, everlasting gratitude. I will always seek ways to repay their kindness and affection, hopefully through my continued service.

I know some will be disappointed and others possibly angry with my decision. I apologize for that disappointment and anger, but know that this decision is based in the best interests of my family, the 12th Worcester District, and the Commonwealth and Country I so humbly serve.”

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Kirby February 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM
I applaud Rep. Naughton for being wise enough to step out before it was too late. Some may accept seat and then slowly become overwhelmed (though we may not know it) and or begin to disappoint the public as well as himself/herself. Rep. Naughton is helping so many at this point. Better to do that well and still take care of one's own health and even be with family. Congratulations Rep. Naughton on making a good decision. There is a right time for so many things. I have learned that.

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