Senator Donnelly’s Chief of Staff Will Enter Race to Succeed Him

State House News is reporting that Cindy Friedman, chief of staff to the late Senator Ken Donnelly, will announce on Monday that she’s going to enter the race to succeed him, setting up a June 27 primary contest with Representative Sean Garballey, who announced last week.  The general election is July 25.



Recommended by jconway, lrphillips.


15 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. She needs to move to run

    Cindy is currently a Cambridge resident (Second Middlesex district) and will need to move back into the district in order to run for the seat.

    • Not to run.

      There is no residency requirement for the Senate, although you do need to be a resident on the day you are sworn in.

      But people don’t like it. Ask Ossoff.

      • 167,000 unqualified people?

        There are approximately 167,000 residents of the Fourth Middlesex senate district. This is a district filled with thoughtful, accomplished progressives.

        I will support the winner of the Democratic primary. However, I cannot be convinced there are no people who currently live in the district who would be a talented, committed, progressive senator; and I certainly don’t think we are so bereft of qualified Democrats that we need to import candidates from an adjacent district.

        My favorite Porcupine compares this situation to the Georgia congressional seat. Seems there wasn’t a strong Democratic candidate in that district, so Jon Ossoff got 98% of the Democratic primary vote. It’s a Republican district. But how hard is it to find a qualified Democrat who lives in the Fourth Middlesex district?

        No, thanks. I prefer to pick my Senator from the 167,000 folks who lived in the district prior to the good Senator’s unfortunate death.

        • Presumably...

          No, thanks. I prefer to pick my Senator from the 167,000 folks who lived in the district prior to the good Senator’s unfortunate death.

          … the Chief of Staff to the late Senator from the District was, whatever her residency, working on behalf of Senators’ constituents right up until the moment of the Hon Senators demise, and likely beyond.

          I understand your staking your claim, on principle, against carpetbagging — and, on principle, I agree — but I don’t think it is a scruple that can be applied altogether fairly, in this instance.

        • She's no stranger

          Come on, Pablo, you can do better than that.

          I don’t remember when she moved, but she lived in Arlington not so long ago and people here know her. Plus she’s just in Cambridge, for goodness sakes, to which Arlington is practically joined at the hip historically.

          If she moves back to town to run it will be a total non issue.

          I like Sean too—a lot—so tell us why he is the better candidate. Or whomever you have in mind.

          • I'm with Sean

            When Sean Garballey ran for the house nine years ago, I supported his primary opponent. I had some doubts about Sean’s ability to be a strong progressive voice for a very liberal district.

            He has been a pleasant surprise. He has been a solid progressive, forging relationships with other leaders I respect. The House is a tough place to forge a progressive record, and Sean pushes the envelope. He has voted against leadership on several critical votes, and I love the fact he is a dependable voice and vote against the speaker on charter schools.

            Unlike a senate staffer, he has put his name on the ballot. He has been accountable for his votes. He has a record of his own he can stand behind.

            It is easy to wrap yourself in a progressive cloak, but you don’t know what an elected official truly values until he or she gets into office. I know where Sean stands. I know how hard he works. I have him on speed-dial, and he has been nothing but responsive when I call. All that, and he doesn’t need to move into the district in order to run for the senate seat.

      • Ossoff

        Since you bring it up: Ossoff says he grew up in the district, and lives a mile-and-a-half outside the district, so that it’s easier for his girlfriend, who is in med school. Not exactly a carpetbagger. He’s no Scott Brown (or even Katherine Clark).

  2. I'm glad to see competition

    I know nothing about either candidate, but I’m glad no one is walking in.

  3. Arlington must be getting pricey

    If she was gentrified into Cambridge

  4. Not a big issue - altho a ridiculoseus & arcane rule

    If I read the backstory here correcly, Ms. Friedman was a long-tine resident of Arlington, who moved a few blocks across the town line to Cambridge because of a personal situation, and irrespective of Sen. Connelly’s tragic passing, was already intending to return to Arlington. Given her long history of service to the 4th Middlesex District on Sen. Connelly’s staff, this is hardly a carpetbagger seeking to take advantage of a special election.

    To be honest, having two strong progressives running in this race is an embarrassment of riches, and given the unlikelihood of a strong Republican emerging for the June General, gives the presumed next 4th Middlesex senator a good opportunity to introduce her- or himself to the voters in the rest of the district.

    I do not believe that there is generally that much of a problem in seeing a candidate from just outside a senate district attempt to run, especially given the seeming randomness with which state senate district boundaries can shift in each district, and this does happen with some regularity. Case in point: when the First Suffolk Middlesex district had a special election after former Senate President Travaligni’s resignation in 2007, former Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo, who lived in my district (the now-defunct Middlesex, Suffolk & Essex at the time) faced little if any criticism for “looking in” from outside the district (he actually lived literally across the street from 1st S&M, but that’s not all that much closer than in the situation here). And the denouement after Rizzo lost that election to Anthony Petruccelli (of East Boston – a whole lot farther from the main mass of the City of Revere than it’s own Ward 6!) was that Rizzo’s ward was in fact moved into the current 1st S&M in the 2001 redistricting.

    All that said, the rule allowing state senate candidates to not have to live in their districts until their election day (and that’s the General, not the Primary), compared to State Rep candidates having to be registered in their districts a year ahead, is more than a bit odd. (The latter seems to date back to the time when Reps were elected on a county-wide basis, so residence in their “district”, i.e.county for a year was, one might suppose, comparable to the (longer) length of time required for senate candidates to have been residents of the Commonwealth.) Either way, it’s one more example of a bit of Re-inventing of Massachusetts Government (with apologies to Al Gore) being long overdue!

    • It's an issue

      I agree with you that, in this case, she’s clearly been involved with the district. But we can’t decide this on a case-by-case basis. If the rule required absolute residency in time for the filing deadline, I’d have no problem with that. Elected officials should live in the areas they represent, period amen.

      Good luck to her. But let’s not take this too far. The rule matters.

  5. A couple of clarifications

    MA Constitution requires 5-year residency in the state and resident of the district at the time of election. As for the Ossoff example, federal Constitution requires residency in the state from which elected, but NOT the district.

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Mon 24 Apr 11:19 AM