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Pignatelli Stepping Down After 22 Years as Representative
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
12:13PM / Tuesday, February 06, 2024
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State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, seen here at the opening of Windrush Commons in Great Barrington last year, will not run for re-election.

State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli speaks with students at DuBois Middle School. The legislator has also served as a selectman, county commissioner and planning board member. 
LENOX, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli will not run for re-election this fall.
The dean of the Berkshire delegation has served in office for 22 years representing the citizens of Central and South Berkshire County.
Pignatelli made his announcement on Tuesday, saying it came with mixed emotions.
"Driven by a deep desire to make our community better and fueled by the support and love of family,friends, constituents, and 'Team Smitty' through the years, I wake up every day ready to serve our commonwealth and that will not cease," he wrote via email.  "There is always more to do but, I feel it's time for a new generation of leadership to, hopefully, make the people of the 3rd Berkshire District their priority as your new state representative."
The Lenox Democrat said he was making the announcement on what would have been his father's 100th birthday to give potential candidates "plenty of opportunity" to consider running.
"I've long said that serving is a marathon, not a sprint. I'm not going anywhere. I promise you that I'll be running through the tape at the end of my term in January 2025," he wrote.
Pignatelli first represented the 4th Berkshire District when he was elected in 2002 and then the 3rd Berkshire after redistricting a few years ago. It now consists of Alford, Becket, Dalton, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, and West Stockbridge, all in the county of Berkshire.
He is currently vice chair of the House and Joint Committees on Rules and a member of the joint committees on education, financial services and tourism, arts and cultural development. 
He listed what he believed were the highlights of his career:
  • Voting to make Massachusetts the 1st state to have "Health Care for All";
  • With the eyes of the world upon us, making my inaugural speech in support of same-sex marriage, once again a first in the nation;
  • Protecting women's health care;
  • Being on the team that created the cultural facilities fund, the only one in nation to invest billions of dollars in the Massachusetts cultural economy; 
  • Championing and funding youth development and non-profits;
  • Bringing much-needed funds home to Berkshire county to ensure our infrastructure, housing, jobs, and economy will thrive into the future for generations to come;
  • Investing in new creative partnerships that benefit the Berkshires and the whole state.
Pignatelli spent four years as a county commissioner and was serving his 11th year as a Lenox selectman when he was elected to the House. Before he joined the Select Board, he served five years on the Planning Board and 10 years volunteering on various appointed boards. He's also served on a number of nonprofit boards. He has said public service was the best job he ever had.
He's been recognized by a numerous groups and organizations for his efforts including the  Brien Center's Community Service Award,  UNICO and as the Robert "Bees" Prendergast's Irish Person of the Year
The representative said he and his siblings had their greatest mentors for service in their parents. John Pignatelli was a World War II veteran who came home to start an electrical business that is still in the family. He was the town of Lenox's longest serving selectman at 32 years and was a county commissioner for 20, as well as being involved in numerous civic organizations. Mary Jane Pignatelli was a teacher for nearly 40 years in the Lenox schools.
"Serving in elected office has been extremely fulfilling but I've learned that serving your community outside of elected office can be just as rewarding," said Pignatelli. "Making this decision has not been an easy one because I still love my job and have been inspired every day to help others. ... 
"Public service should not be self-service — to me, it's service to others. I've been fortunate to have a front row seat to groundbreaking 'firsts' and taking votes that changed history."
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