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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Charlestown has some skin in the game in House District 32

It’s Craven v. Ehrhardt
Charlestown Asst. Solicitor Bob Craven (D) faces incumbent state Rep.
Laurence Ehrhardt in November for House District 32
By Will Collette

After a recount Tuesday, Republican incumbent State Representative Laurence Ehrhardt was certified the winner in his rough primary battle with his former would-be successor Sharon Gamba by only 16 votes.

Gamba claimed that Ehrhardt had told her he planned to retire from the General Assembly and promised her his support as his successor, only to renege on that promise. So Gamba then launched a strong primary challenge to take what she claimed was promised to her.

Though Ehrhardt squeaked by, he now will face Democratic challenger Bob Craven, who is well known here in Charlestown as one of the town’s long-time members of its legal team. Bob is currently Assistant Solicitor, Probate Judge, town prosecutor and counsel to the Zoning Board.



House District 32
Ehrhardt has a very thin record of achievement. First elected in 2004, he has introduced very little legislation of note and had even less enacted. His main passion has been development of Quonset Point, which is the key economic engine in the district. 

He rarely makes public statements, and it’s no wonder when one time when he spoke on a topic other than Quonset, he earned a “Pants on Fire” rating from the ProJo’s Politifact.

So when word got around that Ehrhardt planned to step down from his House seat, people in his district weren’t that surprised. The shocker came later when he decided to reverse course.

Craven has run a very low-key, under-the-radar campaign so far. This isn’t too unusual for a candidate who must wait for a primary to determine who the opponent will be. But as a challenger, even as a Democrat, going up against a long-term incumbent, it usually takes some serious hustle to win.

With less than 50 days to go before the November 6 General Election, it’s time for Bob to get on his bicycle if he’s serious about winning this race.