Statehouse dome

The Massachusetts Statehouse. (AP file photo)

As state Senate candidates begin their last push toward the Sept. 19 special election, endorsements from officials and organizations are rolling in.

The special election will narrow the field for candidates for the Oct. 17 general special election, which will pick a replacement for James Timilty, who resigned from the Senate to become Norfolk County treasurer.

Michael Berry of Walpole, one of four Republicans in the race, was endorsed by Attleboro City Council President Frank Cook, who praised Berry’s background in state and local government.

“His experience at the local level and common-sense approach to solving today’s challenges is desperately needed on Beacon Hill,” Cook said.

Berry was previously endorsed by state Reps. Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield, and Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, along with state Sen. Richard Ross, R-Wrentham.

The two Democrats in the race have a long list of endorsements.

Ted Philips of Sharon on Thursday announced he is getting the support of several local town officials.

“I’m proud to have the support of a broad coalition of local and regional officials who all believe in my vision for the Bristol and Norfolk district and my ability to get things done,” Philips said.

His list of backers includes: Mansfield Selectmen Michael Trowbridge, Frank DelVecchio, and Jess Aptowitz, Norton Selectman Michael Flaherty, and Mansfield School Committee members Lynn Cavicchi and Jenn Walsh, along with several officials from the district but just outside the Attleboro area.

The other Democrat, Paul Feeney of Foxboro, won the endorsement of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO labor union Thursday.

“The Bristol and Norfolk district is made up of communities full of hard-working people” Feeney said. “I believe that we need to level the playing field for working people once again.”

He also has the backing of several other unions, along with environmental and social justice groups.

Back on the Republican side of the race, Harry Brousaides of Walpole, said he was happy to have the endorsement of regular voters and the district has had enough from “establishment” political figures.

A third GOP candidate, Jacob Ventura, could not be reached for comment but previously announced endorsements by state Reps. Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk, and Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk.

The fourth Republican candidate, Tim Hempton of Walpole, could not be reached for comment.

There is also an independent running for Timilty’s seat, Joe Shortsleeve of Medfield, but he is not involved in the Sept. 19 primary.

The Senate district stretches from Seekonk through Rehoboth, parts of Attleboro, all of Norton, Mansfield, Foxboro, Walpole and parts of Sharon and Medfield.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or jhand@thesunchronicle.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.

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