Even though the baseball season has come to a — triumphant for Red Sox fans (#DamageDone) — close, we can always turn back to the wisdom of the game’s greatest philosopher, sage and wordsmith, Yogi Berra: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
That’s what some voters in the area can be forgiven for thinking when they pick up their state election ballots this fall.
Two of the races that will be decided on Tuesday are straight up rematches. State Rep. Jim Hawkins, D-Attleboro, is once again facing former Attleboro city councilor Julie Hall, whom he defeated in a special election in April after Paul Heroux resigned his seat in the Legislature to take up the office of Attleboro’s mayor.
State Sen. Paul Feeney, D-Foxboro, is again running against Jacob Ventura, a former GOP legislative aide. They last faced off against one another in another special election just a year ago after James Timilty, a veteran Democratic state senator from Walpole, resigned that position to become treasurer of Norfolk County.
Not only do the new campaigns seem the same, they also look the same.
At least some of the candidates appear to be using the same handouts and postcards they did last time, something we’ll put down to an admirable attempt to conserve natural resources.
And we think the results of the election should be the same, too.
Both Hawkins and Feeney have proved themselves to be effective, conscientious lawmakers who have earned the right to be given full two-year terms on Beacon Hill.
That’s also true for Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, who has been a member of the House since 2014 and is facing Democratic challenger Brian Hamlin.
So far, to our knowledge, their opponents, have not made a compelling case for removing them from office.
That’s not true of the other incumbent facing a challenge this year.
State Sen. Richard Ross, R-Wrentham, has served his constituents for more than two decades and has in the past campaigned vigorously.
This year, however, he has dodged every opportunity to engage in an open, public debate with his Democratic challenger, Becca Rausch, a Needham attorney.
The senator’s refusal to debate, provide a credible reason for doing so or even acknowledge that he has an obligation to participate in this basic ritual of representative government, is a finger in the eye to the constituents he claims to serve.
Rausch is a bright, committed and well-qualified candidate who could make an effective state senator.
As Yogi Berra also said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” We believe voters have a clear choice this year.