SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The race for Governor’s Council in the 8th District pits Michael Albano and Michael Franco.
Albano served as Springfield mayor from 1995 to 2003.
His opponent Mike Franco is an investigator for the Holyoke Veterans Department.
Franco, a Republican, is running for governor’s council for a fourth time.
Mike Franco has waged an aggressive campaign citing the FBI investigation of the Albano administration.
Albano was dubbed as the comeback kid after his primary victory over two other democratic opponents in September.
But Franco is calling him something else. “We call him the kickback kid because there was a lot of deals during his administration and a number of folks who work very close with him were federally charged and did hard time in prison,” says Franco.
It resulted in prison terms for his former chief of staff Anthony Ardolino and Gerald Phillips who headed a local training school.
Albano refuses to engage Franco in his criticism.
“I don’t practice engaging or responding to negative campaigning, I’m very pleased to have the support of former D.A. Bill Bennett, former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, former Governor Michael Dukakis, Sheriff Robert Garvey , District Attorney Dave Sullivan, so I’ll let my record stand,” says Albano.
Franco has also criticized Albano saying the former mayor has an ideological agenda. for appointees to the bench,”He has proclaimed during the primary campaign which he obviously won and now during the general campaign that he has a far left litmus test and he wants activist judges to sit on the bench,” says Franco.
Albano responded this way. “I run as a progressive, I’m not ashamed of that, we ‘re not going to go backwards relative to affirmative action, we’re not going to go backwards for marriage equality, we’re just not going to go backwards on these issues we fought so hard for over the years,” says Albano.
The candidates offer voters a clear choice.
Mike Franco says he’s the better choice. “I’m independent and I’m impartial, fair and honest, and I do have the professional and educational credentials to do this work,” says Franco.
Albano says he’s the better choice. “I want to make sure the legislature understands the needs of the courts and there’s appropriate funding in the next legislative cycle so we’ve got a lot of work to do, it’s not just on confirmations , I’m not going to be a rubber stamp, I want to make sure Western Massachusetts gets its fair share, I’ve done it before as mayor and I think I can do it again as governor’s councilor,” says Albano.
The primary job for the governor’s council is to vote on confirming a governor’s nomination for judges, clerk magistrates, and members of the parole board and industrial accident board.