Local official campaigns for Obama

Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez has been traveling to battleground states in the presidential election. He has been campaigning for Democrat President Barack Obama, talking about Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.

“It’s been real interesting,” said Sánchez.

Sánchez, who has traveled so far to North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado, said he has met with the local press, business owners and community leaders to discuss what he called Romney’s lackluster job-creation numbers and record on education as governor.

While in Denver, Sánchez saw protesters at Obama’s campaign office asking for more rights for young undocumented immigrants. Obama issued a new immigrant-friendly policy recently giving some illegal immigrants temporary work permits and other rights.

“I’ve been fighting for this ever since I’ve been in office,” said Sánchez, who gave the anecdote as an example of civil disobedience working. “It’s a pretty huge deal President Obama did this. It shows the principles of Obama and Romney are really well defined.”

Sánchez also relayed a happenstance anecdote about being in Durham, N.C. and walking into a hot dog stand that looked like Simco’s on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan.

The owner immediately recognized Sánchez as being from Boston and the two reminisced about growing up in the city during the 1970s. The owner told Sánchez he used to be a bouncer for Bobby Brown and is now married to a North Carolina Supreme Court justice.

“That was a really interesting one,” said Sánchez.

Sánchez also commented on his time in Iowa, noting that the state is flat with corn and soy fields.

“It takes half an hour to get anywhere,” he said.

The representative said Iowa and Massachusetts shared a lot in common and that Iowa was much more progressive than he would have thought. He also spent time with former Iowa Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson, a gay rights advocate.

While in Iowa, Sánchez heard protests from Romney supporters who said to him, “Why are you here? Go back to Massachusetts.” But Sánchez said that they weren’t too bad and he felt like everybody knew their role and respected each other.

The representative said most of the mudslinging usually happens in the paper, not one-on-one. But Sánchez said it’s early in the election and he expects, “It’s going to be a tough one.”

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