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State Rep. Harrington faces challenge from newcomer Matt Meneghini

State Rep. Harrington faces challenge from newcomer Matt Meneghini

GROTON — Since 2010, Republican Sheila C. Harrington has represented the First Middlesex District on Beacon Hill.

She is up for reelection Nov. 8 and faces a challenge from a newcomer, Groton Democrat Matthew T. Meneghini.

He thought it was a shame that in two back-to-back presidential election years, Harrington had no opponent. “I realized that I cared a lot about a number of progressive political items, but hadn’t stepped up to make it happen,” he said.

“I’m putting together a rather bare-bones operation,” he said. “I expect to be out there the next few days … holding signs and knocking on doors.”

Conservation issues and improving the state’s transit infrastructure are special interests for the Hampshire College graduate. He holds a degree in free software, or open-source, gaming. He works in payroll processing at a family firm.

The 24-year-old graduated from Parker Essential Charter School in Devens.

“I think everyone should have access to transportation choices,” Meneghini said.

Harrington, a Groton lawyer, said her priorities will be predicated on the results of the ballot questions.

Economic development is important. “We’re fortunate to get some projects growing,” she said.

MassWorks grants in both Groton for improvements at Four Corners and in Townsend for traffic near the common are in the works. Groton should learn in November if it got the grant.

She has spoken with Ashby residents about the Green Community Act and how it could help with historic buildings around the center. The police station, housed in a trailer, is a concern.

Harrington met with Dunstable selectmen and the Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development about writing a master plan.

A site visit with other state officials is planned at the site proposed for veteran housing in Townsend.

Meneghini’s campaign Facebook page can be found at @matthewtmeneghini.

Harrington can be found on Facebook at @repharrinton.

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter and Tout @a1oconnor.