Dave Sullivan is the State Representative for the 6th Bristol District, a position he has held since 1997. This year Dave is facing off against a Republican also named Dave in the general election. We asked Representative Sullivan what was it about his platform, leadership style, and goals that best represent the needs and interests of the people of Fall River. Below are excerpts from his response, with my commentary. The entire unedited response can be read here.
I believe that my education and experience combined have helped me to be an effective legislator. I possess both a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters degree, and went on to work in the field of social work for many years before becoming a state legislator.
The thing that Dave's detractors love to say is that he is not an effective legislator. That love to cite that he has failed to get any appointments on any of the big committees and that he often seems on the outside looking in, even within our local delegation. Now, personally I like that Dave isn't afraid to stand by himself. At the same time I think Dave has been proven he can work with other legislatures far more effectively than he has gotten credit for.
I have developed a reputation for being persistent with regard to issues that are important to my constituents, an approach that has led some to dub me "a pitbull." I have taken on big fights against corporate giants like Hess LNG, and also have taken on fights that others might have ignored, defending the elderly, the mentally ill, and just this session preventing much-needed services at Corrigan Mental Health from being shut down.
Dave has been very active in the fight against LNG. He has pushed hard on this even when it angered other members of the local delegation. Dave has also worked hard to protect social services. I have always admired the stance he took, almost a decade ago, as the only member of the local delegation to not be in favor of tearing down Watuppa Heights. It was a decision not popular with everyone but there were citizens who disagreed with tearing down the project and they deserved representation too.
My approach is always to see the big picture, passing Economic Development legislation this session that will help the private sector create jobs while always remembering that there are individuals in need of a hand up as we all have been at some point in our lives.
I wish Dave had spoke about what he wants to push in the next session to benefit the city, bring jobs, create tourism, etc.
I ask my constituents to keep in mind that past performance is indicative of future success and I am proud of my track record and will continue to work hard on economic development, public safety and other initiatives if the voters are kind enough to give me their vote on November 2nd.
When I think of Dave's past performance I see someone who is easily accessible and has been the champion of the little guy. Yes, I suppose Dave could be more influential but he has managed to work effectively with his peers while still being independent and standing up for what he believes despite what political wisdom may say. I thank Representative Sullivan for taking the time to respond and wish him the best in the upcoming election. His entire response can be read here.