By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
WESTBOROUGH – Westborough resident and community activist Kate Donaghue announced in January that she will run for State Representative in the new 19th Worcester District.
Created in the state’s recent redistricting process, that district includes most of Westborough and Northborough, all of Southborough and part of Framingham.
“I’m running for State Representative to make a difference on issues that impact my neighbors,” said Donaghue, who is running as a Democrat, in a press release.
Donoghue boasts long record in Westborough
Donoghue has long been an active Westborough community member.
She has served as a member of the Westborough Open Space Committee and a board member for the Westborough Community Land Trust.
She has chaired the Long Trail Protection Fund Committee and co-led a fundraising effort to protect 25,000 acres of land from development. She’s also been on the board of the Green Mountain Club.
Donaghue pushed for change in Massachusetts’ addiction treatment systems particularly after her son, Brian Simpson, died due to a drug overdose in 2018.
As part of that effort, she organized lobbying days at the state capital and was a member of the Attorney General’s Family Advisory Council, focusing on opioids.
Her husband, Kimball Simpson, meanwhile, passed away due to cancer this past December.
“I have experience and insights into the challenges with our healthcare system that plague too many families in Westborough, Northborough, Southborough, and Framingham,” Donaghue said, noting her experiences with her loved ones’ illnesses.
Donaghue has cited healthcare, climate change and support for public education as key campaign issues.
Within her spotlight on healthcare, she noted a focus on substance use disorder and supporting family caregivers.
“Protecting our environment and supporting public education are very personal to me,” Donoghue said, recalling experience volunteering with her husband to support “the invaluable natural resources of our community.”
“As long as the federal government fails to take action, I believe Massachusetts must be a leader in fighting climate change,” she said.
She celebrated the Westborough Public Schools while recognizing current pressures facing them.
“Our children received excellent education in Westborough, but our school districts are under tremendous strain,” she said. “We need to support their work, and expand opportunities – including through universal Pre-K.”
District includes area communities
State legislature district maps changed last year following the release of new census data.
Among several changes impacting the region was the introduction of this new 19th Worcester District.
The change will mean Carolyn Dykema will no longer represent Southborough. Likewise, the new district will simplify representation in Westborough, which has been split between Dykema and representatives Hannah Kane and Danielle Gregoire.
Westborough will now be represented by the new 19th District and Kane’s 11th District.
Northborough, meanwhile, will be split between this new 19th District and the 12th Worcester District, currently held by Meghan Kilcoyne.