It’s a big election year for Connor Degan. In addition to planning Hopkinton’s elections as town clerk, Degan is running for two positions in separate elections.
The first is for his town clerk position in the Annual Town Election in May.
The second is for state representative, first in the Democratic primary in September, and then if all goes well, in the statewide election in November.
Degan announced his intention to run for state representative over the weekend, following last week’s announcement by Carolyn Dykema that she was leaving her post this week for a job with a solar energy company.
“I was just as caught off guard [last] Monday as everyone else was,” Degan said. “I don’t know how many people expected that Carolyn was going to be resigning. I know I certainly didn’t. And it’s something that had always been in the back of my mind as something I would love to do. But I also never wanted to be a challenger to someone like Carolyn, who is fantastic.
“I thought someday the opportunity might arise and I might be able to take advantage of it, and it just kind of popped up out of nowhere,” he continued. “I saw the news [last] Monday and thought this could be the opportunity for me to do this, to serve my community but also the greater community as well — the district — in a way that would use some of the knowledge that I have around the legislative process.”
After checking with his wife and some friends — all of whom encouraged him to move forward — the 29-year-old who majored in political science at Roger Williams University contacted some fellow Democrats in town to get some advice.
However, he noted, “It’s a different animal that I need to tackle on a separate level than just town support. But I’m hoping that my record of being a fair and trusted voice between people regardless of their party affiliation will help my candidacy. I feel like at least people know that I do my job with integrity and I hold my ethics very high. I want to give everyone a fair chance to say their piece and hear people out and help as much as I can.”
Among the issues that stand out to Degan are election law and reforms — “ensuring easy access to the ballot,” he said — along with infrastructure/transportation and support for educational systems.
He plans to add to his list after talking to residents of the district.
“I need to talk to people across the district and see where their priorities are,” he said. “Because if I’m not being truly representative then I kind of defeat the purpose of the job title. I need to figure out what the priorities of the district are before I can say for sure what else is on the immediate agenda.”
The newly formed district, based on the 2020 census, includes all of Hopkinton, Holliston and Sherborn along with the majority of Millis. The current district includes Hopkinton and Holliston along with Southborough and part of Westborough.
Degan said he plans to pull nomination papers when they are available next week.