By Jack Flynn/ The Republican
SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield opened his reelection campaign Monday, pledging to defend social security and Medicare and stressing his commitment to the middle class voters.
“I have spent a career protecting and defending the middle class because I am one of you,” said Neal, a former Springfield mayor who has served the 2nd Congressional District since 1989.
His appearance at the Cavalier restaurant in Chicopee was the first of three planned across the congressional district Monday. His opponent in the Nov. 2 election is Republican Thomas Wesley of Hopedale.
Neal made veiled references to the anti-incumbent fever that swept Republican Scott Brown into Congress in January, reminding voters that anti-government rhetoric does nothing to solve national problems.
“It’s not just rhetoric, it’s results,” Neal told several hundred supporters. “You have to be able to deliver what you promise.”
The congressman made no direct references to Wesley, a businessman and former military pilot whose lawn signs call on voters to “Repeal Neal.” Neal will make appearances later Monday in Southbridge and Milford, where he will open campaign offices.
“The election is five weeks away. We want it to be seen that we’re taking this seriously,” he added.