SHIRLEY — Despite the cold weather, more than 73 voting residents, primarily from Shirley and Acton, attended a barbecue at the Shirley residence of republican Kevin C. Hayes. At the event, he announced his intent to run for state representative of the 37th Middlesex District.
Pointing out that 120 of the 160 of the representatives that hold seats in the Statehouse are democrats, Hayes said he wants to bring some balance back into the legislative government of the commonwealth.
”Massachusetts has become a one-party state,” Hayes said.
During a speech he gave on Saturday, Hayes said he has met with many people in the district to hear what issues are most important to them.
While he received a lot of feedback, Hayes said one common concern of constituents was often repeated.
”The Massachusetts legislature has become out of touch with the citizens they are supposed to represent,” said Hayes. “The legislation we have seen enacted all too often does not reflect the will or the values of the voters in this state.
”Democrats and republicans bring different points of views to the political table creating a healthy debate that brings out both the strengths and the weaknesses of legislative proposals,” he said. “The agenda put forth by the democratic leadership is rubber-stamped by the democratic legislature, both the good ideas and the bad ideas.”
Another issue Hayes said he heard loud and clear was the excessive property taxes Massachusetts residents are paying. If elected, Hayes said he plans to draft legislation to give money back to the property owners.
”There is over $1 billion of your money on Beacon Hill, and the democratic legislature is dreaming up ways to spend it,” he said. “It’s your money. I think you should be dreaming up ways to spend it.”
Hayes said he considers himself moderate on social issues and fiscally conservative.
The topic echoed throughout the event was that republicans should be represented in the Statehouse to encourage meaningful debate.
”In Massachusetts, that kind of true debate has all but disappeared,” Hayes said.
The Massachusetts Republican Party is growing, said Jeanne Kangas, a Boxboro native and vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party.
”Take a look. It’s there in the numbers,” she said. “Hayes is a citizen for the people.”
”The area is kind of excited to have a candidate of this party run,” said Lunenburg Republican Committee Chairman Lance May.
One of the challenges Hayes expects to face, is winning the vote of the residents of Acton, where democratic incumbent James Eldridge is from.
Hayes said he plans to knock on thousands of doors during his campaign.
As a small business owner, Hayes said he is not a career politician. He became interested in politics when he worked on the campaign of Rod Jane, R-Westboro. Jane ran against Sen. Pamela Resor in the 2004 elections.
Raised in Woburn, Mass., Hayes graduated from Northeastern University with a concentration in business administration. He married wife, Laurie, in 1984. His son, Kevin Hayes, Jr., is serving in the United States Marine Corp. He is stationed in North Carolina.
Hayes has been a member of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Shirley Rod and Gun Club since 2000. He also serves as the chairman of the Shirley Republican Town Committee.
In 1995, Hayes started his business, Custom Courier, based in Shirley. He plans to continue working full time until September when, with the help of his campaign manager, Brian Dumont, he will focus on the November election.