By Amaris Castillo
Lifelong Dracut resident Ray Leczynski has set his sights on state Rep. Colleen Garry's 36th Middlesex District seat this fall.
"I looked at Ballotpedia and, in 2016, 77 percent of the elections in Massachusetts were unopposed, and that's not the way it's supposed to be," Leczynski, 55, told The Sun last week. "People deserve a choice, and that's been my real motivator."
Leczynski, a Republican and first-time candidate, said if elected he would concentrate first on controlling spending and taxes, and increasing local aid for education and public safety. He also expressed concern over the opioid epidemic, stating that prevention should be examined more closely.
Under "The Issues" on his campaign website, Leczynski expresses his strong support of the Second Amendment and writes that he cannot support illegal immigration or sanctuary status at any level. He also says Massachusetts is in "dire need" of two-party government.
"Nothing is going to change unless we have two-party government on Beacon Hill," he said in a phone interview. "We need the checks and balances of two-party government."
Leczynski said that while collecting nomination signatures, he heard from many Dracut parents who are concerned about the town's public schools.
"Basically, people are concerned about the quality of education, and that's going to be an overriding concern for some time," he said.
Leczynski said he would like to see parents be able to have more input into their children's education. He promised that if elected, he'll fight for more local aid from Beacon Hill and to eliminate unfunded mandates.
Another major goal for the first-time candidate is to bring civility back into politics.
"The opposing sides go in their respective corners and they can't discuss things. They're not willing to compromise," he said. "I think we need to get back to talking to each other."
Earlier this year, news broke that Garry had a Democratic primary challenger. Sabrina Heisey, who currently sits on the School Committee, plans to challenge Garry in the primary. The winner of that race would face Leczynski in the general election in November.
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.