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Carole King endorses Sydney Levin-Epstein for Massachusetts Senate, performs at fundraiser

By Alison Kuznitz

Grammy Award-winning singer Carole King endorsed Sydney Levin-Epstein for Massachusetts Senate last week, as the Longmeadow native and former aide to U.S. Sen. Ed Markey convened a blockbuster virtual fundraising event.

Levin-Epstein, a political campaign strategist, is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Eric Lesser, an Obama administration alum running for lieutenant governor.

The featured guests at Wednesday’s event all endorsed Levin-Epstein, including King; Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera, the Hampden County register of deeds and former state representative; Mary E. Hurley, an outgoing member of the Governor’s Council; Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle; and Paula Meara, the retired Springfield police chief.

More than 100 people gathered virtually and in person for the fundraiser, which Levin-Epstein said was “something really special.” King performed “some of her greatest works,” Levin-Epstein said.

King called Levin-Epstein a “woman of action.”

“I admire Sydney so much and place so much hope not just in her generation, but in Sydney,” King said in a statement provided by Levin-Epstein’s campaign. “She epitomizes the best of her generation. I am so happy to support her.”

Levin-Epstein, a vocal proponent of West-East rail linking together Western and Eastern Massachusetts, has pledged to ensure that “west of (Interstate) 495 is never again treated as Narnia to Boston insiders.” She’s also worried about the volume of young people leaving the region.

As Levin-Epstein sees it, Beacon Hill has overlooked and forgotten Western Massachusetts. That could change should Levin-Epstein win the Senate race, LaChapelle indicated.

“Being for Sydney means you are for the future of Western Massachusetts,” LaChapelle said in a statement. “I have been stunned by her comprehensive understanding of policy, issues and how they affect the geography of Western Mass. I have no doubt that her energy and intellect will only broaden and strengthen the Western Massachusetts delegation.”

Hurley called Levin-Epstein, 27, a hero in the next generation of elected leaders.

“I know that she is 100% committed to making life in Western Massachusetts better for everybody ...” Hurley said in a statement. “She is here for all of us.”

Levin-Epstein faces state Rep. Jake Oliveira, a Ludlow Democrat, in the race for Lesser’s seat.

Levin-Epstein had $35,255.24 in her campaign account at the end of March. Oliveira trailed behind at $29,710.46, according to campaign finance reports. It was not immediately clear how much Levin-Epstein’s campaign garnered at this week’s fundraiser.

“As our monthly reports continue to show, we are hitting our aggressive fundraising numbers which confirm the high level of support we are earning across the district,” Levin-Epstein said in a statement to MassLive Friday. " By utilizing my federal and state legislative experience, I will fight to ensure Western Mass gets its fair share of resources, investing in economic development and job creation, and ensuring opportunities for young people to stay here after graduation is resonating with voters.”

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