• State Rep. Harrington Sails to Third Term

    Excerpted from The Lowell Sun, November 4, 2014

    State Rep. Harrington sails to third term in 1st Middlesex District

    Incumbent state Rep. Sheila Harrington will return for a third, two-year term, winning handily over her Democratic rival Tuesday for the 1st Middlesex District.

    With unofficial results from four towns giving Harrington a 8,533 to 4,711 lead, Gene Rauhala, a Townsend Democrat, called his opponent less than an hour and a half after the polls closed to congratulate her.

    A jubilant Harrington, celebrating with over 60 supporters at Mariano’s in Pepperell, seemed amazed at the number of voters in the district.

    “They all got out,” she said.

    “I appreciate peoples’ votes and their confidence in me,” she said.

    She is prepared to keep on working hard for her constituency.

    “I have miles to go before I sleep,” she said, “I appreciate the opportunity.”

    A subdued group of Rauhala supporters stood by the candidate at the Townsend House restaurant.

    “It was an overwhelming loss for the whole team,” Rauhala said. “What can I say, she whooped me good.”

    Harrington’s primary goals as an advocate for the region have been to retain and grow local businesses and to secure more local aid.

    She proposed An Act Relative to the Best Interests of Children, intended to change the way child-protection cases are handled. She proposed making it easier for people to access mental-health services.

    She has helped with efforts to mitigate the potential impacts of the proposed Kinder Morgan natural-gas pipeline, a hot-button issue in towns across Massachusetts.

    As the evening went on, Harrington celebrated her victory with a champagne toast.

    She promised good news on the pipeline soon.

  • Lowell Sun: Harrington To Kinder Morgan: “Move Pipeline”

    By Hiroko Sato, Reporter, The Lowell Sun

    Posted: 06/27/14

    DUNSTABLE — Groups of legislators are showing an interest in encouraging Kinder Morgan to run its proposed natural-gas pipeline along state highways rather than through rural neighborhoods.

    And the energy-transportation giant appears to be getting serious about exploring the option, now that it knows the Legislature may pressure the state Department of Transportation to make it happen, according to State Rep. Sheila Harrington, R-Groton.

    “They are looking into it,” Harrington said of Kinder Morgan on Thursday night as more than 100 people listened to the pipeline project at Dunstable Town Hall during an information session.

    “We looked at the map (of state highways) and thought there was a lot of possibility,” she said.

    The information session was the first of its kind held in Dunstable. While Kinder Morgan presented its 129-mile pipeline project in other communities, Dunstable selectmen asked the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments to present what it knows about the project.

    During the meeting, Harrington — who served on the panel along with NMCOG Executive Director Beverly Woods and Ken Hartlage, president of Nashoba Conservation Trust — said she met with Kinder Morgan representatives on Tuesday morning and asked if they would look more closely at state-owned rights of way as a potential pipeline route.

    “They said those rights of way are generally difficult to get from the state and that, when they propose, the state generally doesn’t like to give it to them,” Harrington said of Kinder Morgan representatives. “So I said, ‘what about if a whole bunch of legislators came down on the Department of Transportation and said we want you to give them access over our existing rights of way to the extent that is possible?’ “

    Kinder Morgan representatives showed a keen interest in her proposal and contacted her the next day to ask how other lawmakers reacted to her idea at the Legislative Caucus earlier in the day, Harrington said. She added that many legislators expressed their enthusiasm for her proposal.

    Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has control over the pipeline project, Harrington said she is also working with Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass.

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