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Running for Office, the Independent Way

Jim Gammill, the Independent candidate for State Rep in Arlington (precincts 2,4,8,10,12), Belmont, and North Cambridge, kicks off his guest blog.

My name is Jim Gammill. I'm running for State Rep, and I thank the Patch for kindly offering this public space to talk about anything and everything relevant to your choice of a State Rep for 2013-2014.

I am the Independent candidate in this race. Half of the voters are unenrolled from either party, yet there are no Independents serving at the State House. I myself unenrolled in December 2009, after more than 30 years of active service in the Democratic party, because I thought partisanship was not helping us find practical solutions to our most important challenges. I didn't join another party -- I'm an ex-partisan now.

As I have been going door-to-door, I find many positive responses to my candidacy as an Independent. You, the voters, are way ahead of the candidates in moving away from political parties. You want practical problem solvers who are free of the obligations imposed by each party's special interests.

You also want someone well qualified for the job, and you see that in me. I'm trained as an economist, with a Ph.D in finance from MIT. I taught at Harvard and MIT and worked in the finance industry. I'm also a technology person, with 25 years writing software. Recently I've combined my interests in business and technology as an advisor and investor in start-ups throughout New England.

I also have a diverse set of personal connections that can help in many ways, enriched by two special parts of my career. Right out of college I joined the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign staff, and two years later we were in the White House.  And for the past five years I was chief of staff and volunteer treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. There are good stories about these experiences which I'll share in later posts.

Just as important as my national and statewide connections are my local roots. My wife, Susan Alexander, and I moved to Belmont in 1986 and we've been in the same house ever since. We raised our four children here and have been active in civic, sports, and school groups.   

I'm the ideal candidate to be your local, independent voice and vote at the State House. I'm not looking to start a long-term political career. Instead, I want to jump right in and help the Massachusetts government -- all parts of it -- focus on what's truly important.  

There are many pressing issues to resolve -- shaping a $33 billion budget, rebuilding our transportation infrastructure, and finding large scale cost savings in our health care system, to name just three.  

We need to open up the dialog to everyone, instead of counting on a small group of leaders to fix everything behind closed doors. Serving as an Independent, elected without a party label, will give me opportunities to do just that -- to work openly with people from all parties and perspectives, and to shape innovative, practical solutions to our biggest challenges.  

This election is about sending a substantive, local, connected candidate to Beacon Hill. It's also about sending a message throughout the state that politics is changing. On November 6th you, the voters, can confirm that you are ready for something more than party politics as usual.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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