HYANNIS -- In an editorial over the weekend, the Cape Cod Times endorsed Will Crocker's bid for state representative in the 2nd Barnstable District.
Crocker for House
CAPE COD TIMES
By The Editorial Board
One of the things that impressed us about Will Crocker, who is running for the Mid-Cape House seat, was how he congratulated his young Democratic opponent, Aaron Kanzer, when he won the primary in September.
“I think he ran a hard campaign,” Crocker said. He then added that he doesn’t feel like he is running against anyone; he is simply running for the people in the 2nd Barnstable District.
“I feel it’s all about leadership and experience,” he said. “I have the ability to find common ground and know how to disagree without being disagreeable. We are facing serious challenges in Barnstable and Yarmouth and I am prepared to set aside partisanship to lead efforts with both sides of the aisle to solve these problems.”
And that’s one reason why we recommend Crocker, a Republican, over Kanzer to replace outgoing state Rep. Brian Mannal, D-Centerville.
As much as we are impressed with the 21-year-old Kanzer, he needs to volunteer and serve on more town boards to gain the kind of experience that Crocker has achieved over the years. Kanzer has a bright future and we applaud his interest in serving his community. With a bit more seasoning, we look forward to seeing his name on the ballot in the future.
Crocker, a graduate of Barnstable High School in 1975 and the University of Maine in 1980, worked in broadcast journalism for more than 30 years on Cape radio. Since he has been reporting on important local issues for so long, he is well versed on many of the challenges facing the district.
In 2013, Crocker was elected to the Barnstable Town Council and represents Precinct Six in Centerville. He currently chairs the Roads Committee, sits on the Appointments and Charter Review committees and is the council liaison to the Conservation Commission and the Community Preservation Committee. In addition, Crocker was recently appointed to the town's Committee to Analyze the Impact of Illegal Drugs on the Barnstable Community.
The impact of illegal drugs has been devastating. When Crocker knocks on doors as part of his campaign, he says the opioids crisis and the homeless issue are the two most pressing matters on voters’ minds.
“In Barnstable and Yarmouth, our police and fire departments, Cape Cod Hospital, public housing, local businesses and our schools are spending an extraordinary amount of time and resources dealing with this crisis,” Crocker said on his website. “Our failure to address this issue will jeopardize the economic and cultural fiber of Cape Cod. We need leadership that seeks solutions from all stakeholders… . Aggressive education on prevention is critical.”
Crocker also said the Cape does not have enough treatment beds. “The opioids crisis is interconnected with the homeless issue and the mental health issue.”
Speaking of the homeless, Crocker says the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis needs to move away from the Main Street area. “We need to change the model to permanent supportive housing for the 50-60 chronically homeless people, who line up every afternoon at NOAH. They need a permanent place to stay, a place where services will go to them, rather than vice versa ... . Ensuring the access to services for these vulnerable residents is critical, as is preserving the tourist economy.”
The state of the economy is also important to Crocker. “The chamber of commerce came out with white paper about the ‘blue economy’ and I fully endorse it,” he said. “We are surrounded by water; let’s use the water to our advantage for projects that can create jobs,” such as biomedical research, eco tourism, deep-water wind farms and tidal power.
Another strength that Crocker will bring to Beacon Hill is his debating experience. A highly recognized high school speech and debate coach, Crocker earned a spot in the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League Hall of Fame and served on its executive board for many years.
Crocker taught high school speech and debate, as an extra-curricula activity, for five years at Barnstable High, 17 years at Silver Lake Regional High in Kingston, and two years at Falmouth Academy.
Beacon Hill needs someone who speaks passionately about the issues that affect the Cape, and we think Crocker will bring that strong voice to the House.