Acton’s Sen. Eldridge Draws GOP Challenge From Harvard Business School Official

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By Colin A. Young

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, OCT. 23, 2017…..A Harvard Business School administrator plans to run for state Senate next year, framing herself as a Republican in the mold of Gov. Charlie Baker as she prepares to challenge one of the Legislature’s more progressive Democrats.


Margaret Busse, a Republican of Acton, announced Monday that she will run for the Middlesex-Worcester District seat held by Sen. Jamie Eldridge, whom Busse refers to as “the self-styled Progressive incumbent.”

Busse, the associate director of the Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School, mentions Baker three times in her five-paragraph announcement, saying she shares a vision with the Baker/Polito Administration and noting the governor’s popularity in the Senate district she hopes to represent.

Baker, who was unable to help Republicans grow their minority party on Beacon Hill in the 2016 elections, is expected to run for re-election next fall, when voters are also likely to decide a U.S. Senate race and several ballot questions pertaining to taxes.

“I have a passion for public service,” Busse said in a statement. “It’s in my DNA. My proven ability to bring diverse people to the table and forge creative solutions to community problems is just what this district needs.”

Busse holds degrees from Harvard and Brigham Young University. She previously served as chair of Acton’s Finance Committee and on the town’s Planning Committee. She lives in Acton with her husband, Franz. She has five children.

The Middlesex and Worcester District includes Acton, Ayer, Boxborough, Harvard, Hudson, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Shirley, Southborough, Stow, Westborough, Devens, parts of Northborough and parts of Sudbury.

In the 2016 legislative elections, held midway through Baker’s four-year term, Democrats held 126 of the 160 seats in the Massachusetts House and 34 seats in the 40-member Senate. Less than one third of the 200 districts featured contested races in November 2016.

Democratic candidates retained all three open Senate seats in 2016, with Adam Hinds elected to succeed former Sen. Benjamin Downing, Walter Timilty claiming the seat that former Sen. Brian Joyce relinquished, and Julian Cyr winning the Cape and Islands seat after Dan Wolf opted against seeking re-election.