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Terry Ryan continues campaign at candidates forum

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Terry Ryan (Front) with supporters holding signs before the forum.

Terry Ryan (Front) with supporters holding signs before the forum.

Oliver Davey

Oliver Davey

Terry Ryan (Front) with supporters holding signs before the forum.

Oliver Davey, Staff Writer

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Nervous energy filled the 2nd floor of the Portuguese-American Club in Hudson, Massachusetts as 13 candidates vying to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives gave their introductory statements. Terry Ryan, one of these candidates, broke through the nervous energy with a intro that got everyone laughing.

“Hi, my name is Terry Ryan […] welcome to the new season of Survivor,” he said.

Terry Ryan, a local father of multiple Westford students, announced his candidacy for the representative position back in August. He looked to continue his campaign at the forum where candidates held signs, collected signatures, and participated in voicing their ideas to those attending.

After the introductions, it was time to get the forum started. The candidates answered questions given by a moderator on various topics important to the district that includes towns like Westford, Acton, and Lowell. Questions ranged from climate change and healthcare to topics such as minimum wage and post-secondary education.

Terry Ryan, although admittedly nervous, was able to soundly express his views on various topics. One answer that got applause was when he was asked about what to do about the increasing automation in various workplaces.

“We have high-technology jobs that demand automation,” Terry Ryan said. “We need to have the education to back them up and help [workers] learn the new skills so we can move forward.”

Terry Ryan also talked about the committees he would like to serve on in the House of Representatives. These committees consider bills along with overseeing various agencies and pursuits in their jurisdiction.

Education, Commerce, and Armed Services were the three committees he stated he was would want to be on the most. This knowledge of the committees showed that he had a leg up on some of his competitors, as Lowell candidate Bopha Malone stated she would like to be on the Immigration committee, which is not considered a main committee by the House of Representatives.

As the forum continued, he also answered questions on the balancing of civil liberties and intelligence gathering in the government.

“You damn well better have a good reason to be looking [at people’s personal information]. I absolutely believe, though, for the security of our country there is some data that you have to look at,” Terry Ryan said.

He also spoke on his support for publicly funded elections and his want to repeal Citizens United, a landmark U.S. constitutional case.

“I do believe in publicly funded elections. I think that is a necessary way to go forward. […] Maybe every election, every level you are running for it has a certain set amount, and you don’t raise more than that, and you don’t spend more than that,” Terry Ryan said.

Terry Ryan also called for more renewable energy sources and making community college free. His son Matthew Ryan, a sophomore at WA expressed his happiness for his dad after the forum.

“I think he did very well, his answers showed that he was very knowledgeable about the subjects that were brought up during the forum,” Matthew Ryan said.

Terry Ryan also expressed his excitement after the forum in a campaign statement.

“I was excited that this forum gave me the opportunity to discuss issues of concern for individuals in this district and all Americans,” he said.

Terry Ryan will continue his campaign on Saturday, February 10th where he will make an appearance 980 AM Radio Morning Show. He will also be at the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce Bingo Night on February 13. On February 15 he will be at the Lowell Sun editorial board meeting and the Westford Democratic Caucus at the Cameron Senior Center.

While Terry Ryan may make jokes about being a survivor, Matthew Ryan sees him as the person in the campaign who is a helper in and around the community.

“I am very excited that the official campaign has started and he can get out with his message of how he wants to help people as a congressman, like he has helped people here,” he said.

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