Alex Marszalkowski looking at MacBeth’s District 52 seat

Alex Marszalkowski looking at MacBeth’s District 52 seat

CUMBERLAND – Alex D. Marszalkowski, a lifelong Cumberland resident and one of the town’s few remaining farmers, announced this week his plans to run for the District 52 House of Representatives seat.

He’s the second Democrat to express interest since current Rep. Karen MacBeth said she’s exploring a run on the national stage against U.S. Rep. David Cicilline. Also considering a run in District 52 is School Committee member Paul DiModica.

Marszalkowski, 29, is a fourth-generation partner and general manager of Adams Farm, a 200-acre site at the corner of Burnt Swamp and Sumner Brown roads in the far northeast corner of Cumberland.

He is single and lives on the family farm at 140 Sumner Brown Road, one of two children of James and Donna Marszalkowski.

He’s also a licensed, but not practicing, attorney in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and 2012 graduate of the Roger Williams University School of Law.

Talking about his plans, Marszalkowski told The Breeze that most of his friends have left Cumberland and Rhode Island to pursue successful careers, but he “feels an obligation” to stay with the family farm purchased originally by his great-grandfather Adam Marszalkowski, who came from Poland.

Along with the farm, Marszalkowski family members fill homes dotting the Burnt Swamp Road area.

The farm grows corn and hay, but it’s best known as a source for pumpkins in the fall, when hay rides and friendly goats, cows, pigs and other livestock make the farm a destination for schools and families.

The Marszalkowski family members also cut hay at the town’s Franklin and Schofield farms locally and plant 2,500 acres of corn and soy beans on land in Vermont, he said.

Marszalkowski said he’s always had a desire to run for office. “Running for office is a natural extension of my upbringing on a family farm, where I understand the value of hard work and helping others.”

“I feel an obligation to try and improve a situation even though it’s easier to complain about it and not do anything,” he said. “Most importantly, I like to stand up for the little guy.”

Among the issues he wants to address are finding alternatives to student loans that are “crippling” his generation with debt. “It’s almost as if they’re paused in life; they can’t buy a house because they’re $100,000 in debt,” he said.

He’s also interested in open space and environmental issues and the grow-local farm movement.

He describes himself as socially liberal but more conservative fiscally.

In his announcement, he noted that as a farmer and businessman, he has “donated large amounts of produce to a neighboring food kitchen and hundreds of pumpkins to schools for children to experience the joys of pumpkin-carving for Halloween.”

Within the past year, he says, he has hosted a road race fundraiser for a local school and an event to support the Matty Fund for children with epilepsy.

“I am running for office because I am steadfastly determined to make our community a better and safer place in which we all can be proud,” said Marszalkowski.

“I stayed here after law school to serve the public and the people of Cumberland.”

Marszalkowski was a member of the town’s Conservation Commission and the committee to site the public safety complex.

He can be reached at 401-714-4425 or by emailing AlexDistrict52@gmail.com .