The state Senate race pitting incumbent Vinny deMacedo, R-Plymouth/Barnstable, against Democratic newcomer Deb Rudolf offers a contrast in issues-based politics, with two worthy candidates squaring off against one another. DeMacedo’s experience, however, coupled with an impressive track record of securing funding for local initiatives, gives him the edge.

DeMacedo has a 20-year track record in state politics, including eight terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. Despite those years of political service, deMacedo remains true to his working-class roots; he owns a gas station in Plymouth, and can often be found there pumping gas in the mornings before heading to Beacon Hill in the afternoon.

Furthermore, he has consistently put aside partisan politics and reached across the aisle to get things done, including supporting groundbreaking opiate prevention and treatment legislation. Similarly, he worked with former state Sen. Dan Wolf, D-Harwich, to push forward measures to protect the public as the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth edges closer to decommissioning. He also favors pressuring Pilgrim’s parent company, Entergy, to retrain its employees when the plant closes.

DeMacedo has also worked diligently to bring state dollars back to the region. For example, he helped secure $500,000 for Oyster Pond preservation, $400,000 for the Tony Andrews Farm, and $1.3 million for workforce affordable housing, all in Falmouth, as well as money for beach renourishment in Sandwich. He credits, in part, his strong working relationship with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, but he is also a lawmaker who considers the regional picture, even when those issues extend beyond the towns he represents.

And when it comes to this year’s ballot questions, deMacedo demonstrates that he is not afraid to take positions contrary to those of many in his own party. For example, he supports the creation of a citizens commission that would support overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and he also supports the existing law that prohibits discrimination against individuals who are transgender.

Rudolf also offers a number of positives in her own right. Her law degree from Northeastern University would doubtlessly serve her well on the floor of the Senate, as would her master's degree in dispute resolution. Rudolf also has substantial real-life experience with the issues facing this region. She served on the Committee for Public Counsel Services for a decade, and has represented children born addicted to opiates. She also boasts a background in elder law, estate planning, and Medicaid services.

We also appreciate the fact that Rudolf wants to get involved in the political process. She said she believes that it is time for women to take a more active role in politics, and that she wants to use her background and education to advocate for people who are struggling. She said she was particularly angered and energized when Gov. Baker cut funding for mental health services for toddlers by half – a cut that she said deMacedo did not vote to overturn.

For his part, deMacedo said he prefers to highlight his own record, including the collaborative efforts of the entire Cape delegation. In fact, the only thing he said of Rudolf during a recent meeting with the Cape Cod Times Editorial Board was that she is bright, articulate, and passionate: “I have nothing negative to say about her. I appreciate her getting involved in the political process.”

Rudolf offers an energy and a background that would make her an excellent candidate for any one of a number of elected offices, and we hope that we will see her running again. In the case of the Barnstable/Plymouth Senate District, however, we believe that deMacedo’s track record and wealth of relationships and experience make him the best choice, and we therefore encourage voters to send him back to Beacon Hill for another term.