In the race for State Representative, Newton Alderman Greer Tan Swiston has failed to make the case that it’s time for a change in the state house.
Incumbent Kay Khan has valuable projects in the works that she should be allowed to bring to completion. In Newton, she is working – to choose just one example – on bringing an ADA compliant commuter rail station to Auburndale, a project she has been pushing for a decade.
Swiston’s explanations for why she wants the seat also aren’t very compelling, in our view. She argues for more professional diversity in the state house, claiming that too many lawmakers are lawyers. Even if one accepts that argument, Khan is not a lawyer – but rather trained as a psychiatric nurse.
Swiston says Khan’s focus has been too much on mental health and social issues, calling for more focus on transportation, housing and job creation. But it’s not clear that Swiston has a specific agenda she’d like to work on. She told the TAB she doesn’t believe government or laws are the solution to most problems – which makes the job of legislator an odd one for her.
As a Chinese American, a mother, an MIT graduate, a former NASA employee, a real estate professional, Swiston offers an interesting perspective, but state representative is not the right role for her to play.
Twenty members of the Newton Board of Alderman have endorsed Khan, as do we.