Wednesday morning at 9:38, Randy Hunt sent out a text message to everyone he had texted during the past year.
The message read: “Update from Randy Hunt: Sold the CPA practice December 1. Sold the house this week. Relocated to Quincy where we’ll relax and figure out next steps. It was my honor to serve as state representative and our pleasure to be part of the Sandwich community for 22 years. Stay safe and stay in touch.”
Reached by phone later that morning, Mr. Hunt said he sent the message to mark the momentous day.
“For the first time since I was a teenager, I’m unemployed,” he said. “This is Day 1.”
Mr. Hunt had just wrapped up his 10th year as state representative for the 5th Barnstable District. Last year, he announced that he was not running for reelection.
Although his stint on Beacon Hill was over, we had not expected Mr. Hunt’s term as a Sandwich resident and business owner to come to a close, too.
“Well, the pandemic gave us extra amounts of time to think through things,” he said. “We have family ties in Quincy and we wanted to be closer to Boston as I try to figure out what the future holds. So we sold the house and the business and are renting a two-bedroom apartment in the Marina Bay area.”
Sanders Walsh & Eaton, an accounting firm with offices in Chatham and Osterville, purchased Mr. Hunt’s CPA practice and plans to open an office in Merchants Square, he said.
“The one caveat was they also had to take my Giant,” he said with a laugh, referring to the lighted iron Giant Mr. Hunt had commissioned from Sandwich artist Michael Magyar. Mr. Hunt’s Giant depicts an accountant juggling numbers.
Besides his decade in the State House, Mr. Hunt served the town on the finance committee for three years and as a selectman for six years.
Asked to name some high points in his political career, Mr. Hunt was quick to note his work early on, raising awareness about the opioid epidemic.
“We did good work in the State House, especially when it comes to education within the court system,” he said. “The point was to get these people the help they need rather than just running them through system.”
Always willing to joke at his own expense, Mr. Hunt also noted the work he did to get more signs and a “dump cam” installed at the Sandwich Transfer Station.
“You know all those signs at the transfer station that direct you where to go to dispose of your various items? And that camera you can check at home online to see if there’s a line to get into the dump? Those were my ideas. That’s genius, right there.”
“That’s way back, before everyone had all those little cameras on their doorbells. This was cutting-edge, forward thinking,” he added with a laugh.
On the topic of laughter, Mr. Hunt wrote a humorous political blog for years with more than 300 original posts. He also produced 150 local access television shows for Sandwich Community TV, several of them documentaries, including one that spotlighted the erosion troubles along Town Neck Beach.
Mr. Hunt is a conservative Republican.
“I believe in smaller government. A government that is responsible for taking care of people but not one that tries to be everything to everyone. Not one that gets into your business, or your bedroom,” he said.
But some in the Republican party do not feel he is conservative enough for their tastes. Back in 2018, when Mr. Hunt was up for reelection as state representative, Bourne’s Republican Town Committee backed his challenger, ultraconservative “Trumper” Ron Beaty, in the primary.
Asked if he considers that a blemish or a badge of honor on his political legacy, Mr. Hunt was quick to say the latter. We would have to agree.
“It’s a sad thing. So many people on extreme ends of both political parties have decided to quit thinking for themselves,” he said. “For some Republicans, that’s having blind faith in everything Donald Trump says. They just go with it. It’s been going on for some time but now it’s really on steroids.”
Reflecting on his time in Sandwich, Mr. Hunt said it was his and his wife, Mary’s, involvement in town that made their time here so enlivening. “It never occurred to me how much you could get from a community, personally, if you were willing to pitch in and participate,” he said.
We’ve been acquainted with Mr. Hunt for all 22 of his years in town. From fincom newbie and fledgling community TV host to a well-seasoned state representative, we’ve gotten to know him as thoughtful, well-spoken and wickedly funny. While we have not always agreed with his politics, we have constantly had faith that Mr. Hunt would do his homework and remain true, above all else, to his sense of duty to his constituents.
As he and Mary plan for their future outside of Sandwich, we want to wish them both the very best of luck and offer a heartfelt thank-you for leaving Sandwich (with its nifty dump cam) a better place than when they got here.