State Rep. Will Brownsberger welcomes the challenge of having Lalig Musserian running against him Nov. 2 for the seat representing the 24th Middlesex District.
"People are more interested when races are contested," he said. "The candidates do more (leading up to Election Day) and I welcome the richer conversation that having a challenger presents."
Musserian and Brownsberger are scheduled to debate on Oct. 19 and discuss the issues facing residents and the state in an event sponsored by the Belmont League of Women Voters.
Brownsberger has held the seat in the House of Representatives that covers Belmont and parts of Cambridge and Arlington since 2007. In that time, he said he has worked to bring back more local aid to the district, advance projects to address flooding, reconstruct roadways, preserve open space and improve public housing as well as public parks and facilities.
Brownsberger's campaign literature declares he delivered results in those areas as well as winning cuts in excess state house staff, achieving strong public pension reforms and fighting for savings in public employee benefits.
The communities he represents in the district have different needs, Brownsberger said, pointing out Belmont and Arlington do not have the level of commercial tax revenue available to Cambridge.
But all his constituents are concerned with rising health care costs, watching jobs in all fields disappear or require less skill due to automation, overhanging financial liabilities and the effects of fossil energy sources on the environment and health.
Brownsberger said he looks forward to continuing to focus on basic ideas to help state government build confidence and adapt.
One goal is to have more transparency that he already made headway on after doing research on the last five years of spending in the House.
"The information was available but people didn't know how to get it," Brownsberger said.
"Fiscal responsibility and transparency have always been issues for me and allowing the public to see how money is being spent."
The work he did led to this year's budget cycle passing a law that a website be posted by the secretary of administration and finance detailing how the House spends every penny.
Brownsberger believes state government leaders need to make choices that reduce the perception of unfair advantages for insiders. He is focused on continued work of pension reform.
"We passed some reform in 2009 but there are still holes in the system that allows state and municipal workers to get more out than they've put in," Brownsberger said.
"We need to do a lot more work and put a cap on public pensions," she said.
In addition, Brownsberger believes state government needs more candor through conversations about the extent of recurring budget deficits and take action to address them as well as be open to structural change such as embracing the role of technology in public education.
Brownsberger is also a strong advocate for a variety of issues facing Massachusetts. He is in favor of green jobs and energy independence, having worked for the passage of the state's clean energy plan, as well as green transportation and bicycle laws.
He is also in favor of helping municipalities provide health insurance to their employees under the umbrella of the Group Insurance Commission for larger savings.
Brownsberger is opposed to what he believes is the ineffective film tax credit and he voted against the casino bill.
"I think (casinos) are a distraction and we would have made more meaningful progress controlling health care costs for individuals and businesses," he said.
"I'm hoping to do more in the next session."
Brownsberger describes himself as a social progressive.
"I'm a strong believer in individual liberties such as equality of marriage and transgender rights," he said.
A resident of Belmont, Brownsberger served on the Board of Selectmen from 1998-2007 and was the chairman of the Belmont Democratic Town Committee.