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McMurtry Tosses Hat in Ring for 2012 State Seat

Paul McMurtry, who represents Westwood and Dedham, will run for re-election in 2012.

State Rep. Paul McMurtry announced Tuesday that he will seek a fourth term in the Massachusetts State House.

McMurtry, a 45-year-old Democrat from Dedham, was first elected to represent the 11th Norfolk district, which includes Westwood, in May 2007 in a special election.

"It's an opportunity to, at least try to, in the most sincere attempt, to cut through the red tape," McMurtry said. "[The job] is constantly changing and evolving."

McMurtry represents Dedham, Westwood and a section of Walpole.

After running unopposed in 2008 and 2010, McMurtry said he still will prepare for a challenger in 2012.

McMurtry could face a Democrat challenger in a September primary before November's general election.

"I don't take it for granted and I enjoy serving - and I imagine others would also share that same enjoyment," McMurtry said.

In his only challenged election, a special election for an open seat in 2007, McMurtry, running absent of a party, garnered 54 percent of the vote in a three-person race.

"There has been a little bit of a misconception early on that it was a strategic move for me to be unenrolled and then enroll in the Democratic party. It wasn't. It was just the timing of it. I couldn't enroll in a party at the time because of deadlines that had passed," McMurtry said.

The state representative voted in favor of a health care law this year that took away some bargaining rights for unions, a law that aims to save local towns millions of dollars across the state, McMurtry said.

"If I had my way, I would've like to have maintained what was promised to these individuals," McMurtry said. "It was major, drastic overhaul that every city and town in the Commonwealth was demanding - including the three communities I represent."

McMurtry also voted in favor of a bill that created three licenses for resort destination casinos, which was signed into law last week.

"Two of the major reasons why I supported that were [...] both job creation in the short-term in construction and in the long-term," he said. "The other aspect that was really compelling for me was the recapturing of the lost revenue that Massachusetts residents willingly spend in out-of-state casinos."

In an interview Tuesday morning, McMurtry, who owns in Dedham Square, highlighted the success of securing state grant money for the Dedham Square Improvement Project.

While the state budget has done away with earmarks for districts, McMurtry said, he's support other legislation that aims to save taxpayer money.

"There have been some major statewide mandates that will help cities and towns money [...] that I've been involved in," McMurtry said.

McMurtry serves on the Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee and the Small Business and Community Development Committee.

Through his work on those committees, McMurtry said they have reduced wait times for mental health patients in emergency rooms, invested money into the tourism industry and strengthened small businesses.

"The majority of the [bills] are for good government or efficient government," he said. "It saves taxpayers money.

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