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Naughton mulls office run.

Byline: John Weeks

CLINTON - State Representative Harold Naughton Jr. (D-Clinton) has been inundated with phone calls since his colleague, State Senator Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster), announced he will not seek re-election last week.

"My friends in the north county have been calling to pledge support for me to run for that office," Naughton said. "I'm honored by that, but it is still a little early."

Naughton represents the Twelfth Worcester District, including Boylston, Clinton, precinct 2 of Sterling and precinct 2 of Lancaster. Antonioni represents the Worcester and Middlesex District, which includes Bolton, precincts 1 and 2 of Clinton, Lancaster and Sterling.

Naughton said he hasn't taken the option of running for the senate off the table, but has become very fond of the people he has represented for the past 12 years.

"It's something we're taking a look at, but right now my intent is to run for re-election as a state representative," Naughton said.

Antonioni has held his senate seat for the past 17 years and before that served as a state representative for three years. He said 20 years in the state legislature was extremely rewarding and now it is time to move on.

"I'm going to be practicing law full time and really, it's more of a personal life," Antonioni said. "My time away from the senate office is spent practicing law and going to functions. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to do anything else."

Antonioni, an avid swimmer, hockey player and bike rider, will have more time to enjoy those pursuits.

"It's just more of a personal life," he said. "You can live your whole life around work, which many of us do I suppose. At some point, you want to just channel your energy into something else."

Antonioni has hosted one of the most famous annual spaghetti suppers in all of Massachusetts.

"We've been holding that in Leominster, at a few different locations," he said. The last spaghetti supper he will host as a senator will be held sometime in April.

Antonioni said anyone who decides to make a run for the open seat should know the job is demanding.

"It's diverse," he said of his district. "There a lot of different communities. It's widespread. It's a big area to cover, from Townsend to Sterling and from Bolton and Clinton back to Gardner. There is a lot of running around."

Naughton is one potential candidate who is no stranger to a demanding schedule. He said is familiar with the area and would mount a competitive campaign if he ran.

"I worked in Fitchburg for many years at the welfare office," he said. "My children are on the Greenwood Swim team in Gardner and I have a lot of Gardner contacts. Numerous veterans groups from the area have been calling me. Sure, we could put together a strong campaign. Right now, we'll just sit back and watch it."

No matter who ends up in that office, Naughton said they will have a tough act to follow.

"I am really going to miss him," Naughton said. "I understand it he felt it was time to move on and I hope we can have someone in there who will continue the great representation that we have had from him."Harold

Naughton Jr.Robert Antonioni ^$^CLINTON - State Representative Harold Naughton Jr. (D-Clinton) has been inundated with phone calls since his colleague, State Senator Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster), announced he will not seek re-election last week.

"My friends in the north county have been calling to pledge support for me to run for that office," Naughton said. "I'm honored by that, but it is still a little early."

Naughton represents the Twelfth Worcester District, including Boylston, Clinton, precinct 2 of Sterling and precinct 2 of Lancaster. Antonioni represents the Worcester and Middlesex District, which includes Bolton, precincts 1 and 2 of Clinton, Lancaster and Sterling.

Naughton said he hasn't taken the option of running for the senate off the table, but has become very fond of the people he has represented for the past 12 years.

"It's something we're taking a look at, but right now my intent is to run for re-election as a state representative," Naughton said.

Antonioni has held his senate seat for the past 17 years and before that served as a state representative for three years. He said 20 years in the state legislature was extremely rewarding and now it is time to move on.

"I'm going to be practicing law full time and really, it's more of a personal life," Antonioni said. "My time away from the senate office is spent practicing law and going to functions. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to do anything else."

Antonioni, an avid swimmer, hockey player and bike rider, will have more time to enjoy those pursuits.

"It's just more of a personal life," he said. "You can live your whole life around work, which many of us do I suppose. At some point, you want to just channel your energy into something else."

Antonioni has hosted one of the most famous annual spaghetti suppers in all of Massachusetts.

"We've been holding that in Leominster, at a few different locations," he said. The last spaghetti supper he will host as a senator will be held sometime in April.

Antonioni said anyone who decides to make a run for the open seat should know the job is demanding.

"It's diverse," he said of his district. "There a lot of different communities. It's widespread. It's a big area to cover, from Townsend to Sterling and from Bolton and Clinton back to Gardner. There is a lot of running around."

Naughton is one potential candidate who is no stranger to a demanding schedule. He said is familiar with the area and would mount a competitive campaign if he ran.

"I worked in Fitchburg for many years at the welfare office," he said. "My children are on the Greenwood Swim team in Gardner and I have a lot of Gardner contacts. Numerous veterans groups from the area have been calling me. Sure, we could put together a strong campaign. Right now, we'll just sit back and watch it."

No matter who ends up in that office, Naughton said they will have a tough act to follow.

"I am really going to miss him," Naughton said. "I understand it he felt it was time to move on and I hope we can have someone in there who will continue the great representation that we have had from him."

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CUTLINE: Harold Naughton Jr.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 12, 2008
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