The contrasts could not be more obvious in the Norfolk, Bristol, Middlesex state Senate district race between long-time incumbent Richard Ross and new face Becca Rausch.
They differ in age, gender, political ideology and approach.
Ross, R-Wrentham, 64, has been in the Senate since 2010 and prior to that spent five years in the Massachusetts House.
Rausch, 38, is running for the first time other than her experience as a Needham Town Meeting member. She is a lawyer.
She calls herself a progressive Democrat while Ross is a conservative Republican.
Her big issue, she said, is to address the lack of connection between the voters of the district and the senator.
“The majority of people I talk to say they have a very difficult time reaching him,” she said.
Rausch pledged she would be transparent and engage with voters to find out their views on issues.
Ross said in a prepared statement:
“There is no higher priority to me than listening to and acting on the needs of my constituents. My staff and I will continue to hold office hours in all 12 communities of my district so that my constituents can always have access to me and can count on my assistance with a multitude of problems and can have their opinions made known.”
He also said his priorities included making state government more efficient, watching how tax dollars are spent, and improving the transportation system.
Ross said in the statement he supports veterans’ benefits such as healthcare and housing.
Rausch beat two other Democrats in Tuesday’s primary election to win her party’s nomination. Ross ran unopposed in the primary.
She did extremely well in her hometown of Needham and communities close to it such as Wayland, but came in second in several communities to the south as one of her opponents, Jackie Katz of Norfolk, won the local area.
Many of the towns are in and around Ross’s hometown of Wrentham and Rausch said she will be working to strengthen her standing there.
For Ross, Rausch is the latest in a string of challengers over the years, but he has never lost.
The district includes Wards 1 and 2 and Precinct 3A in Attleboro as well as the local towns of North Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, and Norfolk.