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Why Out Candidate Alex Morse Is Challenging a Powerful Incumbent

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The Advocate about those subjects.“I grew up in the backdrop of shuttered paper mills and a dead downtown,” says Morse, a native of Holyoke, Mass., who at age 22 became the town’s youngest-ever mayor and the first out gay one.

Holyoke is one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts, and Morse grew up there in public housing as the son of an impoverished single mother.

He was the first person in his family to go to college, attending Brown University in Rhode Island.When he graduated, he decided, “What better place to give back to than my hometown?” he says.

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