Overview

 

  • On Tuesday, January 18th, attorney and life sciences executive Tanisha Sullivan, president of the Boston branch of the NAACP, launched her campaign challenging incumbent William Galvin (see below) for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state. A University of Virginia alumna who earned graduate degrees in law and business from Boston College, Sullivan spent most of her legal career representing life sciences companies. The Legislature still hasn't set a date for the September primary elections. 

 

  • Five days later, on Sunday, January 23rd, Secretary of State William Galvin announced he will seek a historic eighth four-year term as Massachusetts’ top elections official. Galvin has led the secretary’s office since 1995, and in 2020, oversaw an unprecedented pandemic-era election in which record numbers of voters cast ballots, including for the first time through no-excuse mail-in voting. With the completion of this term, no secretary of state in Massachusetts history will have served longer than him, and only two other current secretaries of state nationwide have been in office longer than the Brighton Democrat. 

 

  • On Wednesday, January 19th, former Representative Claire Cronin took her oath of office inside the State House as the new U.S. ambassador to Ireland, following her confirmation a month ago by the U.S. Senate. Cronin was chosen as majority leader in 2021 by Speaker Ronald Mariano and it is unclear when Mariano might reveal his pick for the next majority leader. Cronin resigned her House seat, being the third Beacon Hill lawmaker to vacate their seat this session, and there is no word on whether a special election will be called to fill Cronin's House seat covering Brockton and Easton in the 11th Plymouth District.

 

  • On Wednesday, January 19th, Representative Linda Dean Campbell (D - 15th Essex) announced that she will not seek reelection this fall. Campbell, a U.S. Army veteran, and former Methuen City Councilor said she would not rule out public service or running for office again in the future but will take a "pause" at the end of her current term. She was elected to represent the 15th Essex District in 2006 and is currently serving as Chair of the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity, and as Chair of the Special Joint Oversight Committee to investigate the deaths of 76 Veterans at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. She won seven successive terms to represent the district covering parts of Methuen and Haverhill.

 

  • On Wednesday, January 19th, Governor Baker nominated Representative Sheila Harrington (R - 1st Middlesex), the ranking Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, to serve as clerk magistrate of the Gardner District Court. Harrington's nomination needs confirmation by the Governor's Council, which approves most court appointments, and the public hearing on Harrington's nomination is scheduled for Wednesday, February 9th at 10am. An attorney, Harrington was first elected to the House in 2010 in a district that runs along the New Hampshire border, including Ashby, Townsend, Pepperell, Dunstable, Groton, and part of Ayer. The House Republican caucus has already dropped by six members in the last four years. The roster has stood at 29 members, or around 18% of the House since Representative Brad Hill resigned last September for a post on the state Gaming Commission. 

 

  • On Thursday, January 20th, Representative Lori Ehrlich (D - 8th Essex) was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the Region 1 administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and she will start her new job on January 31st. Ehrlich was tapped at the start of this session to serve as House co-chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government. Ehrlich was first elected in a 2008 special election to succeed Doug Petersen, and the 8th Essex district covers parts of Marblehead, Swampscott, and Lynn.