LHS Hosts State Rep Candidates in Only Debate before Election Day


The LHS Cousins Auditorium was filled with students who attended the State Representative Debate.

Victoria Miele and Isabella Nevard

LEOMINSTER– On Thursday, October 13, 2022, Leominster High School’s Students for Transparency and Understanding of Municipal Politics club (S.T.U.M.P.) hosted a debate between State Representative candidates Natalie Higgins (D) and John Dombrowski (R)  in the auditorium for LHS students to attend.

The auditorium was full as the debate brought the candidates into discussion about topics such as homelessness, insurance, climate change, and standardized testing, as well as what their individual plans were to handle each one. 

The debate was conducted in a question and answer format where the candidates had three minutes to answer the question and one minute for a rebuttal. It was led by S.T.U.M.P. President LHS Senior Ivy Sasu who read off the 17 questions, proposed by LHS students, to the candidates.

The first question, “In your opinion, which is the most important issue facing our community,” was directed to Dombrowski. 

His answer was simple: “Lack of affordable housing.”

He had a plan to solve this problem by building housing above the mall.

By doing this, he believed that this would revive our mall as well as utilize a large, neglected space that could help many people.

When Higgins was asked about why students had to put as much pressure and time on their standardized tests, her answer was met with a round of applause and cheers.

She said standardized tests should not be a graduation requirement on students, as they are meant to be a reflection of the district and teachers, not only students.

Dombrowski agreed with this, but said that unfortunately the tests probably will not be going away anytime soon.

When speaking with Vice President of S.T.U.M.P., LHS Senior Gray Dallaire, said, “As high school students enter the voting age, it’s important that they make more informed decisions about their political views.” 

Secretary LHS Senior Kaitlyn Perrault, added “they should be educated on which candidate embodies their views.” 

S.T.U.M.P. is run by LHS Educator Larissa Murphy. It is a club for students who are interested in learning how the government operates and how our city government has an effect over the school.

Murphy has been a teacher at Leominster High school for 20 years, teaching advanced placement world history, advanced placement United States Government, civics, and advanced placement human geography.


S.T.U.M.P. aims to “engage students as a connector between them and their elected officials”, said Murphy.  “I would like students to have a better understanding of the candidates and where they stand on policy issues that directly affect students”.

S.T.U.M.P. hosts meetings in the media center every Thursday morning at 7:00am, and they are looking forward to providing further contributions and involvement with local politics.


Incumbent Candidate Natalie Higgins (D) attends the debate.
Candidate John Dombrowski (R) attends the debate.