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Candidate Ruthanne Fuller has just released this statement in response to an ad in today’s Newton TAB.

My opponent’s recent ad questioning my capacity to be both a mother and a leader shows a regrettable lack of understanding for those of us who work every day to balance family, career, and service to the community and for women who work – whether in paid or unpaid positions – and raise kids.

Last year, I declared my candidacy for Mayor of Newton because I am passionate about Newton’s future. I have a clear vision, a plan to make us an even better community, and the experience to deliver. My campaign has been and will continue to be about the issues that matter to Newtonians and my vision for Newton’s future. To hear firsthand the hopes and concerns of our residents, I’ve been to each of our 32 precincts multiple times talking to Newtonians at their doors and meeting in living rooms all across the city.

Being an effective Mayor of Newton is all about leadership, character, and values. Leadership is about laying out a bold and achievable vision and a roadmap that improves the quality of life for all of Newton’s residents:

• Making sure our schools are the best in Massachusetts. • Ensuring the strongest financial outlook for Newton. • Building more affordable, livable neighborhoods and vibrant, walkable village centers. • Leading on making us a greener, more sustainable city. • Committing to be a diverse, inclusive, and affordable place to live.

What leadership is not about is hurling political attacks in the last two weeks of the campaign suggesting a woman’s experience counts for less than a man’s. That’s not going to help move Newton forward.

Sadly, my opponent has decided to undervalue my thirty years of experience. He spent thousands of dollars on a full page ad in the Newton Tab that disparages me for ‘only’ living here close to 25 years. Notably, this would exclude many people of color who have moved here in the last few decades. Equally disappointing, he suggests I am less qualified to be Mayor because, like many other women, I’ve had a mix of full-time, part-time and unpaid work experience, all while raising my three children.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, I’ve played a leadership role for 30 years while at the same time bringing up three great kids in this wonderful community. I have worked in the business world, in the non-profit sector (including 8 years developing and implementing the first-ever strategic plan for WGBH- Channel 2), as a citizen activist, and as a city councilor for eight years.

For decades I have been a leader. I tackle complex challenges; I build consensus; I get the work done. That’s the leadership Newton’s residents can expect from me as their Mayor.

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