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‘Humbled’ by opportunity, Andrew Shepherd hopeful to serve 1st Middlesex District

Andrew Shepherd stands outside of the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. In Tuesday’s primary election, Shepherd faced Lynne Archambault to become the Republican nominee for state representative in the 1st Middlesex District for the general election on Nov. 8. (Shane Rhodes/Nashoba Valley Voice)
Andrew Shepherd stands outside of the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. In Tuesday’s primary election, Shepherd faced Lynne Archambault to become the Republican nominee for state representative in the 1st Middlesex District for the general election on Nov. 8. (Shane Rhodes/Nashoba Valley Voice)
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TOWNSEND — For Andrew Shepherd, public service is nothing new. Neither is the campaign trail.

After a September primary that was decided by fewer than 100 votes, the firefighter-turned-business owner is expected to take part in another tight race on Nov. 8. The Republican nominee for the vacant 1st Middlesex District representative seat, Shepherd will face Democratic nominee Margaret Scarsdale and Independent candidate Catherine Lundeen during Tuesday’s general election.

As a candidate, Shepherd can offer a unique combination of State House and “real world” experience.

During his time at the University of Massachusetts: Amherst, Shepherd interned with former Republican state Rep. Sheila Harrington and, later, in the Office of Access and Opportunity. He said these experiences were what inspired him to pursue the vacancy.

“During my time with Harrington and in the Office of Access and Opportunity, I saw firsthand how impactful it can be when you have people that not only care about the district, but understand and can operate the system effectively,” Shepherd said. “So, when (Harrington) decided to move on, I immediately knew this was something I wanted to pursue.”

Since his time on Beacon Hill, Shepherd has taken part in his family’s agricultural and construction business, Shepherd’s, and even come to own and operate his own business, the Bayberry Hill Water Company.

Shepherd described the “duality” in his experience as a “positive differentiator” when compared to the other candidates. He also said it would make him more “relatable” and attractive to voters, but also more effective as a representative.

“Those experiences have given me a real understanding of what families and people throughout the district are going through, what they’re facing and struggling with,” Shepherd said. “With that in mind, I can bring that sort of blue-collar work ethic to the State House, put in the work for this district and make it a better place for everyone.”

“Being the only candidate that’s worked on Beacon Hill, deeply understanding the nature of the role and how to be successful at it, but also owning my own business, having to worry about things like a payroll, I think it has prepared me to go down to Beacon Hill and serve effectively, to get resources back in our area and advocate for what our district needs,” he said.

To that end, Shepherd has earned his fair share of endorsements. Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito endorsed his candidacy, as have many current and former members of the state Legislature as well as numerous state organizations and local businesses.

While he was appreciative of each endorsement, Shepherd said he was “most proud” of the endorsement of voters throughout his campaign.

“I’m proud of each and every one of my endorsements,” Shepherd said. “But I’m most proud of the voters that endorsed me through the primary and have continued to come out and meet with me on the campaign trail every day.”

Shepherd said, if elected, he would “hit the ground running” as a “strong voice” and advocate for the district, promoting the local economy and small businesses that “make up the fabric of our communities.”

While he listed the local economy, education and lowering costs for his constituents as “priorities,” Shepherd also said, if elected, the first order of business would consist of “kitchen table economics” and “working to put more money in families’ pockets.”

“If I’m fortunate enough to be chosen by the people, I can proudly say that we’ll be going to work right away,” Shepherd said. “Whatever we can do to put more money in people’s pockets, whatever we can do to make the 1st Middlesex more affordable and just a better place to live.”

Days away from the election, Shepherd said it was “surreal” for everyone on the campaign. He also said, regardless of the outcome, that he was “humbled” to ask for the voters’ support to have had the chance to serve the district.

“The whole team is energized and it’s certainly surreal, but we’re proud to serve and I’m proud to be running and have the potential opportunity to represent the 1st Middlesex District,” he said. “However you vote, I am truly humbled to be here.”

For more information on Shepherd or his campaign, visit repshep.com.

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