BOSTON – Veering away from the traditional lighthearted and nostalgic farewell speech, outgoing Rep. Paul Adams, R-Andover, took a shot at his Democratic colleagues on his way out of the House yesterday, saying they spend taxpayers’ money too easily and do not focus on places where government has a role, beliefs he said made him a “target” for state Democrats to unseat him.
Shortly after Gov. Deval Patrick announced plans to close a $540 million midyear budget gap, Adams said there is plenty of money in state coffers and argued the state spends it “incorrectly.”
“I ran for state representative and then state senator to limit this body’s role, and by limiting government intrusion in our lives, in our families and our businesses these are the values that made me also a top target by the majority party for elimination,” Adams said during floor remarks.
“That process had many different faces. I think those people know exactly who they are.” Adams’ district was merged with one represented by another House Republican, Rep. Jim Lyons, during the redistricting process. He opted to challenge Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, instead of facing off against Lyons or moving down the street, which he considered, to run in a new majority-minority district centered in Lawrence.
Adams said his race “was made as difficult as possible” and he hinted he would run again. “My political opponents might have a victory for the time being, but this won’t be the last time they deal with me.” In response to Adams, Rep. Michael Moran, who led the House redistricting effort, told the State House News Service, “I think when people don’t get re-elected often times they’re looking for an easy answer.”
Asked whether he intentionally targeted Adams, Moran said, “I intentionally tried to draw a map that maximized minority participation and in a few instances members were impacted in their districts.”
Other departing reps also made speeches, including Rep. David Torrisi (D-North Andover).
In an emotional speech punctuated by several pauses to collect himself and wipe away tears, Torrisi made jokes, imparted advice and thanked his staff and family. Torrisi, who lost in the primary, said being a husband and father had changed his perspective and gave heartfelt endorsements to most of the people he worked with. “There are so many of you here that I absolutely adore and love and cherish as friends - a couple of you not so much,” he said to a roar of laughter.
“You got to appreciate the moment. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. And one thing, I’m fortunate enough that I’m lucky enough to say thank you to all of these people who were so good to me and so helpful to me over my years.”