As a high school student Benjamin Craig's motto was, "Here's my plate, load it on." He brought that mentality with him to Emmanuel, where he has always been ready to take on a new opportunity.
Wales, Mass.-native and former Wales Selectman Michael Valanzola ’07 officially kicked off his campaign for the Massachusetts State Senate on Tuesday, January 7th, with a tour of the Commonwealth’s second largest district, which stretches from Hampshire to Middlesex County.
Wales, Mass.-native and former Wales Selectman Michael Valanzola '07 officially kicked off his campaign for the Massachusetts State Senate on Tuesday, January 7th, with a tour of the Commonwealth's second largest district, which stretches from Hampshire to Middlesex County.
As a candidate for the Republican primary, Valanzola hopes to fill the seat of Democrat Stephen Brewer, who will retire at the conclusion of this term after representing the 28-town, 162,000-constituent district since 1997.
Valanzola's campaign is comprised of three main pillars: economy, education and community. He touts his professional career and political experience as assets for supporting local businesses of all sizes and in partnering with citizens to give a voice to their issues. A 2003 graduate of Tantasqua Regional High School, Valanzola is also a proponent of public education, and believes that the district's schools should be supported at the highest level.
In 2007, at the age of 22 and just 17 days after his graduation from Emmanuel College, Valanzola was elected to the Board of Selectmen in Wales, Mass., the youngest in the history of the town and one of the youngest in Massachusetts. He retired from the Board in 2013.
Currently, he is serving his second term as a member of the Tantasqua Regional School Committee, and was recently re-elected to serve as chairman. He is the first chairman from the town of Wales in the district's 60-year history.
While running for state Senate, Valanzola is prepared to handle questions regarding his age--at 29, he is the youngest of the three declared candidates. He maintains that his leadership style has spoken for itself in his previous political endeavors.
"People have questioned my age since I ran for Selectman," Valanzola said, "I've continually proven that it isn't an issue.
"No one is going to match my energy and passion," he added. "It's going to come down to who has the vision to lead this district."
Outside of politics, Valanzola has worked in a number of roles with Hopkinton-based EMC Corporation since 2004. He is currently a senior manager for America's inside sales division. If his Senate bid is successful, he will put his professional life on hold to fully engage with the communities in his district.
While at Emmanuel College, the political science and English communications major, Valanzola served as the public relations manager for the Political Club and served as president and chairman of the Student Government Association. He also founded the Republican Club and went on to serve as the vice chairman of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans.
Learn more about Valanzola and his campaign here.