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Business School Administrator Announces Candidacy for State Senate

The facade of Harvard Business School's Baker Library.
The facade of Harvard Business School's Baker Library. By Soumyaa Mazumder
By Caroline S. Engelmayer and Jamie D. Halper, Crimson Staff Writers

Margaret W. Busse, the Associate Director in charge of Alumni Engagement for the Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, announced her candidacy for Mass. state Senate this week.

She hopes to challenge current Middlesex-Worcester District incumbent Democrat James B. Eldridge, who has served in the role since 2009.

In an interview, Busse, who identifies as a Republican, said she decided to run because she wants to transcend partisanship in politics.

“I think a lot of folks are, have just been sort of dismayed at the level of acrimony and just kind of jumble approach that politicians often take by trying to be purposely divisive and inflammatory,” Busse said.

She said her three main focuses will be creating jobs, improving public schools, and building “vibrant communities.” She said she thinks her experience chairing the Finance Committee of Acton, Mass. has prepared her for a job as state senator.

“My proven ability to bring diverse people to the table and forge creative solutions to community problems is just what this district needs,” a press release announcing her campaign reads.

Busse praised the political priorities and methods of Governor Charles D. Baker ’79. She said she seeks to emulate his governing style.

“We need to grow our economy in the cooperative and effective governmental climate created by the Baker/Polito Administration,” she wrote in the press release.

Busse is challenging the Democratic incumbent at a time when Democrats hold the majority of Massachusetts state senatorial seats. They currently have 34 seats in the 40-person Senate and 126 seats out of 160 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Recently, contested state elections have been relatively rare in Massachusetts. In 2016, less than one third of the 200 districts had contested elections.

To be elected, Busse will have to secure the Republican nomination, then defeat Eldridge in the general election. While Busse said she is the only Republican candidate to announce candidacy so far, the deadline to declare is not until spring 2018.

Busse, who has degrees from Harvard and Brigham Young University, lives in Acton with her husband. They have five children.

Busse said she has not yet decided whether she will step down from her Business School position if elected.

—Staff writer Caroline S. Engelmayer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cengelmayer13.

—Staff writer Jamie D. Halper can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jamiedhalper.

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PoliticsHarvard Business SchoolMassachusetts