North Brookfield man sets sights on U.S. Senate

The interview was originally conducted and posted on September 13, 2012.
North Brookfield man looks to win U.S. Senate seat
By: Jordan Evan

Bill Cimbrelo, a North Brookfield resident, believes he has what it takes to defeat Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, fluent in Spanish; as well as English, and originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cimbrelo doesn’t have a background like your average candidate for Senate. However, that hasn’t stopped him from mounting a surprise campaign out of the small town of North Brookfield.

Photo courtesy of Occupy Boston

Sitting down with Mr. Cimbrelo in his North Brookfield home, he wasted no time and made no allusions about running for Massachusetts’ Junior Senate seat. “I’m not a professional politician. I have no [long-term] political aspirations to run for office,” said Cimbrelo. Identifying as socially liberal, but fiscally conservative, Cimbrelo believes that partisan politics have caused more harm than good; “Our country is being pulled apart at the seams by party politics [and] Obama and Romney, Brown and Warren, they aren’t tackling any of the real issues.”

But just what issues are those? To Cimbrelo, the outsourcing of jobs is such an issue and one that hits close to home. Cimbrelo, who had a career in the metal finishing industries and later in system design for water purification, found both of his careers eventually outsourced to cheaper foreign labor. “None of the companies I worked for exist anymore; they’ve all been swallowed up.” He laments. Cimbrelo, also a father, finds one in the future of college students; “We have 100,000 kids we’re trying to make up for plus today and tomorrow. The College student crisis [is] going to be much bigger than the mortgage crisis. “

As a business owner and entrepreneur, Cimbrelo hopes to integrate personal experience into the Senate to turn that around. “I ran a home remodeling business for seven years until I had to file for bankruptcy in 2007, then I ended up starting a small handyman business and it was gone in six months.” Seeing a re-established tax base and a mutual relationship between employer and employee as vital to the road to recovery, Cimbrelo proposes new businesses be given a three-year start-up period where they would be exempt from certain taxes. Also acknowledging trained hands as very important, Cimbrelo supports that, if they so choose, a person’s unemployment be handed to their employer, who would then pay the employee for their labor so they can receive that money while generating new skills.

Elsewhere, Cimbrelo falls across the board. Identifying most with the Occupy movement, he sees college students as our “most valuable resource” and he shares similar sentiments with some of them such as utilizing marijuana as an export and source of tax revenue, funding education, and the arts, and cutting the defense budget. However, he also shares certain beliefs with the Tea Party as well, believing that too many fees “benefit just the state [and] there are too many rules and regulations that drive away business.”

When asked about the difficulties he faces as an independent, Cimbrelo recognizes that he’s at a very large disadvantage; “I have negligible funds and no campaign manager.” When asked about accepting corporate donations as a possibility he made clear he will take no form of PAC monies. He also finds himself receiving little help from other Independents across the country. “I’ve reached out to Senator Bernie Sanders and haven’t gotten much help.” Cimbrelo however doesn’t let that discourage his efforts and feels a personal responsibility for his actions. “I have to do something for my children and I have to set an example.”

Cimbrelo also makes no allusions that, as a write-in candidate, his chances are slim. Initially, not by choice, Cimbrelo was forced to mount a recognized write-in bid after he failed to meet the requirement of 10,000 valid signatures to make the ballot. Write-in candidacies, while accepted as largely disadvantageous, are not entirely uncommon. Millbury native Jim McKenna won the Republican nomination for Attorney General through a write-in campaign in 2010 and Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski successfully won re-election to her seat as a write-in candidate that same year.

With so much concentration on the National impact in Washington, candidates rarely answer what they can do for the average person living off of Main St. When asked what he could do for Central Massachusetts natives to earn their trust and respect, Cimbrelo acknowledged he doesn’t have the vast sums of money to pour into personal campaign ads or even a truck to drive around the state and greet people from, but he can give them something much simpler. “I don’t have a truck, but I can give them jobs. I can bring back jobs.”

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