Interview with Senator Ryan Fattman

An exclusive look at state politics


William Fredericks

Senator Fattman, shown during a recent meeting, has been a MA Senator since 2015

Alexander Woodcock, Staff Writer

Recently, I got the chance to sit down and speak with our senator to the Massachusetts State Senate, Ryan Fattman. I wanted to do this because our congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, Jim McGovern, came to our school to speak about the government to those students enrolled in a civics class a few months ago. 

I felt that it was only fair to give equal spotlight in the eyes of the school to a politician of the opposing political party. And so, I decided to write this article and asked the senator a few questions during our brief meeting.

My first question was one of a personal nature to the senator, but one whose answer I think has a lesson for anyone interested in government or leadership. I asked for the most influential or important activity from the senator’s high school career to his future career.

Senator Fattman shares a moment with former MA Governor Baker ( Legislators/Profile/RCF0/PhotoGallery)

He told me that there were three distinct activities that bore a heavy role in his future endeavors. The first was his participation in varsity basketball.

He told me that there was one person in this area of his life who had more influence than any other, one whose name will sound familiar to most Sutton High students. This was his coach, Stephen C. Romasco, for whom our larger gymnasium is named.

Romasco taught the senator many important life lessons; as a basketball player, he was always told to “play hard, play fair, play to win, and play by the rules”. In the classroom (Romasco was also his history teacher at one point), he learned the principle that, as the senator put it, Americans can do anything if they use their voice and mind.

Another activity that was influential to the senator’s career were his interactions with other teachers, including Mr. Levansavich. These history teachers took him to the state house on one class trip, which introduced an interest in the legislative process, which obviously grew into a passion.

Finally, the senator told me about his involvement with student government; he was the president of his student body during his time at Sutton High. He told me that this experience encouraged him to serve and lead throughout his life.

Another of my questions was a bit unorthodox for an interview such as this. I asked Senator Fattman about a common misconception about the legislative process that he could clear up.

Senator Fattman on the night he was elected to the state senate (Telegram & Gazette)

The senator had to think for a minute before answering. He explained that the partisan divide that we see at the federal level between Democrats and Republicans does not exist at the same level in state legislatures.

He pointed out that as one of only a few Republicans in the state senate, he has to make compromises and work across the aisle every day. This, as I see it, is in stark contrast to the heavy partisan divide in the U.S. Congress.

My final question to the senator was how he would encourage high school students to get involved in the civic process. The primary way he encouraged this was to get involved in student government, as he did during his high school years. If you are old enough, you are also encouraged to vote in federal, state, and local elections.

The senator gave me a lot of insight about the early and current life of a politician and public servant. I hope you have gained a bit of this insight as well.