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Character: the nature of a person, I find is so important when evaluating candidates for public office. How that individual is going to approach problems and make ethical decisions can largely be determined by the strength of their character.

This year we have the opportunity to evaluate two candidates for state representative for the 1st Middlesex District: Sheila Harrington and Connie Sullivan. For me personally, character will be the deciding factor.

Sheila Harrington made the decision to run for public office last fall as a logical progression of a life and career serving the public. Shelia has served on many local community boards and committees; including the Lowell Wish Project, Deaconess Nashoba Hospital Board of Trustees, Groton Historic District, Groton Center for the Arts and the Village Theater Project, to name a few.

In addition, Sheila has worked tirelessly as an advocate for her clients in 19 years as an attorney. Her integrity, compassion and fairness have earned her the respect of her clients and her peers. She is deeply committed to serving the people of Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell and Townsend.

As you may recall, last summer Connie Sullivan also made the decision to run for this position after Christy Mihos told potential candidates that he would donate $500 to their campaigns if they would announce their candidacy at a joint meeting. Sullivan jumped at the chance for the $500 making an end- around of his longtime friend and colleague Bob Hargraves, who had not yet made the decision to retire.

The thing about character is that you can only really assess a person’s character by their actions. Are they doing something because it is the right thing to do? Do they speak to the common good or are they centered in one’s desire for recognition?

Sheila Harrington is not a politician and she will tell you so. As a political outsider she will bring a fresh new outlook to the issues facing our state. She will work to strengthen our economy, restore and attract jobs to the Bay State, bring back fiscal responsibility and restore our faith in Beacon Hill. Please join me at the polls Sept. 14 and vote for Sheila Harrington for state representative for the good of our state and our community.

DEIRDRE MITCHELL

Groton