Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Northampton Democrat to challenge Rosenberg for Senate seat

Kline describes herself as an activist, mother and educational leader

Chelsea Sunday Kline Facebook Page

Chelsea Sunday Kline Facebook Page

By Kathrine Esten, Assistant News Editor

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Northampton resident Chelsea Kline announced on March 28 that she will challenge incumbent state Senator Stan Rosenberg in the Democratic Primary for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District seat, according to the Greenfield Recorder.

Kline is the first candidate to challenge Rosenberg in the Democratic primary. Currently, she is the director of the Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders program, leadership and organizational studies program and arts and humanities at Bay Path University.

“I’m running for Senate to be a voice for western Massachusetts and a champion of working families, local businesses, and marginalized communities,” Kline said in a statement to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “As an organizer, activist, mother, and educational leader, I will work tirelessly in the Senate to promote social justice, end homelessness, and build a government that protects, supports, and cares for all residents.”

The state Senate district includes Amherst, Northampton, Bernardston, Colrain, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Pelham, Royalston, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell and Whately.

The seat has been held by Rosenberg since 1991. In 2015, he was elected as the President of the Massachusetts State Senate. In December 2017, Rosenberg stepped down as President of the Massachusetts State Senate  amid allegations of sexual misconduct against his husband Bryon Hefner.

When asked about Kline’s candidacy by the Greenfield Recorder, Rosenberg said he was looking “forward to running on [his own] record.”

“Competition is good for democracy,” Rosenberg said. “It’s good when voters have choices.”

In a statement to MassLive, Kline addressed the sexual misconduct against Hefner.

“I believe the survivors,” Kline said. “Today is about them, and I applaud their courage in coming forward.”

According to Bay Path University, Kline “is a longtime social justice activist with a profound focus on women’s health and leadership, with a range of experience including teen parent mentorship, the Feminist Majority, La Leche League, Tapestry Health, and the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Project, among others.”

She also serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and is a graduate of Bay Path’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact program. Additionally, she is a community religious adviser for Jewish students at her alma mater, Smith College, as well as a certified professional life coach and predictive index analyst.

Kline graduated from Smith with a Bachelor of Arts with high honors in Religion and Biblical Literature. She then moved on to gain her Master of Science in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School with a focus on women, religion, gender and sexuality. She is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy in Human Sexuality program in the clinical track at Widener University.

The Democratic primary will be held Sept. 4. No other challengers to Rosenberg have been announced as of yet.

Kathrine Esten can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @KathrineEsten.

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