Saying he wanted to continue helping towns and residents "wade through state government red tape," and improve the business climate in Massachusetts, Rep. Steven Howitt announced his bid for re-election to the state House of Representatives on Sunday during a gathering at the Hillside Country Club in Rehoboth.
The former Seekonk selectman is running for a second term as representative of the 4th Bristol District, which includes Seekonk, Rehoboth, two Norton precincts and portions of Swansea. Howitt, a Republican, when he defeated Democratic incumbent Stephen D'Amico. It was Howitt's third run for the position.
Howitt said the focus of his first term has been on "the veterans, the elderly and the disabled as well as the towns themselves." He said that he and his colleagues also help residents who are having difficulty getting what they need from the state government.
"A lot of it has to do with wading through government red tape," Howitt told the audience of about 70 people. "We'll make the phone call and all of a sudden things happen, surprisingly. So we do act as a conduit to get things done that should be happening, but aren't happening, in state government."
He said a priority in his second term would be creating jobs by easing business regulations and taxes in Massachusetts.
"There are a lot of things that are not the most inviting for Massachusetts businesses," Howitt said. "It's very important that we get the economy up and running."
Several of his legislative colleagues attended the event, including a couple Democrats. Rep. George Peterson (R-Grafton), the House's assistant minority leader, told the audience it was important to get Howitt re-elected.
"He does the work for you in the district," Peterson said. "He does the work for you up there on Beacon Hill. He's a tireless worker on your behalf."
Howitt's opponent is Democrat A. Keith Carreiro, who is a member of the Swansea School Committee.