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Market Basket Battle Becoming Issue In Mass. Political Races

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Market Basket dispute is having an impact on local politics.

Some politicians have joined with protesting workers while others sit on the fence in what’s become a touchy election year issue.

State Sen. Barry Finegold of Andover told WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller this is no time for politicians to sit on the sidelines, and more than 160 of his peers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire agree having signed onto his boycott petition.

Finegold, a Democratic candidate for state treasurer, said he thinks the Market Basket battle might be a political issue this fall.

“I think it’s about are you willing to stand with people who have worked hard for all of us, have fought hard to give us low-cost groceries, and I think this is worthwhile fighting for,” he said.

But not all political leaders agree. Other than a statement yesterday that Market Basket would be making a “terrible mistake” by replacing longtime workers, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has stayed out of the controversy to the annoyance of some protesters.

And the fact Gov. Deval Patrick’ has refused to get involved has infuriated others.

Deborah Goldberg, also a Democratic candidate for treasurer, said she thinks elected officials should take a stand when it affects their constituents.

But Goldberg, whose family used to run Stop & Shop supermarkets, said Finegold’s boycott may not be the right approach.

“Someone needs to step in and get both sides to the table to end this now,” she said.

A third candidate for treasurer, state Rep. Tom Conroy of Wayland, told Keller that while he commends the workers for their unity, he isn’t getting involved in the details.

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