Democrats Square off in Governor's Council Debate

Democratic candidates for Governor's Council in the second district (which includes Stoughton) participated in a debate at the Morse Institute Library in Natick on August 8.

Four Democratic candidates for (which includes Stoughton) squared off in a debate at Natick's Wednesday night. 

The Governor's Council is one of the state's oldest elected boards. It acts to appoint a range of Massachusetts officials including judges, parole board members and justices of the peace. The council advises the Governor on issuing pardons and communications.

The Governor's Council has eight members. Including Stoughton, the second district includes all of parts of 39 towns.

Here are the details on what the four candidates said during the debate:

Bart Timilty

Timilty's sister, Kelly, served on the Governor's council for 18 years before her death in January. 

"I witnessed the dedication and joy she got out of being on the Governor's Council," Timilty said. 

During the debate, he advocated for the increased use of prisons to rehabilitate convicts. He hopes educating non-violent criminals in becoming active members of society will lead to shorter sentences and alleviate overcrowding in the state's prisons. 

"In the state prison system, the emphases needs to be on treatment," Timilty said. "I've seen parole boards that don't work and I'm here because I want to fix them."


Robert Jubinville

Jubinville is a veteran trial lawyer who said he has been involved in more than 7,500 cases. He cited his experience in law as a means to better select judges, and said his knowledge makes him the best candidate. 

"The Governor's council has the last say on who judges us, I want to make sure only the best get those seats,” Jubinville said.

He advocated for older, more experienced members of society to be judges, saying experience and wisdom are important traits.


Patrick McCabe

McCabe attended Governor's Council meetings for four years prior to Wednesday's debate.

He recorded sound bites from many of the meetings and posted them online, hoping to get state residents involved in the council's decisions. 

"I want to bring transparency and openness to the council," McCabe said. 

McCabe also advocated for using parole boards more actively to "get people out into the public instead of leaving them in jail."


Brian Clinton

Clinton has done public service for more than 20 years, and currently serves as the Chief of Staff for a Boston City Councilor.  

The Governor's Council has faced public scrutiny in recent years after one Councilor was accused of felony assault charges and another falsified an endorsement form the Governor. Clinton hopes to revive the council's reputation. 

"I'd like to change the circus atmosphere, and I really think I can do that," Clinton said. "I want to restore some honor."


The winner of the Sep. 6 Democratic primary for Governor's Council will face Republican Earl Sholley in November.


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