(Source: State House News Service)
Chris Lisinski, 11/29/22 7:00 AM
NOV. 29, 2022.....Significant turnover is on the way for the Legislature as election season gives way to the next two-year term and more than two dozen newly elected lawmakers prepare to take the oath of office.
Five new senators will join the 40-member chamber in January, while the 160-member House will feature either 21 or 22 first-time representatives depending on how a pair of unresolved recounts play out.
Newcomers head to Beacon Hill from a range of personal and professional backgrounds. Many already hold elected office at the local level, and some worked as aides to current or former lawmakers. One is a tax associate, another is a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official, and the class also features a prominent Democrat volunteer who helped the campaigns of several people who will now be her colleagues.
Altogether, a bit more than one in eight legislators will serve their first terms during the 2023-2024 session.
The incoming group is a large one: two years ago, the freshman class at the start of the session featured 19 newcomers. Eighteen of those lawmakers secured reelection this time around, and the one who didn't, Rep. Jake Oliveira, instead won a Senate race.
And 2023 will be the most common first year for representatives when the new term begins. Twenty-three current lawmakers joined the House in 2019, which according to records kept by the House clerk is the highest share of any year at the start of the 2021-2022 session, but several of those representatives opted not to seek reelection.
Not every member of the incoming class is truly a newcomer to Beacon Hill. A trio of sitting representatives will move across the hall next session to join the Senate after each won a race for an open seat in that chamber.
Meet the new class:
PAUL MARK, D-Becket: A veteran lawmaker who spent six terms in the House, Mark will become the next senator from the westernmost reaches of the state. Mark cruised past Huff Tyler Templeton in the primary and easily beat Brendan Phair in the general election. He served as vice chair of several legislative committees during his tenure, most recently of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. The reshaped district, whose predecessor was represented by former Sen. Adam Hinds, stretches across all of Berkshire County and parts of Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties and touches the Vermont, New York and Connecticut borders.
JAKE OLIVEIRA, D-Ludlow: Oliveira is another western Massachusetts lawmaker and will move to the Senate to succeed Sen. Eric Lesser. He will shift chambers after just one term in the House, along the way winning a primary race against Sydney Levin-Epstein and then a general contest against William Johnson. Before he joined the Legislature in 2021, Oliveira worked as legislative director for then-Rep. and now-Sen. Michael Rodrigues and spent 12 years on the Ludlow School Committee.
LIZ MIRANDA, D-Boston: Rounding out the list of representatives changing chambers is Miranda, who faced no opponent in the general election after topping a five-way Democratic primary in September. Miranda joined the House in 2019, where she played a role in the lengthy debate and amendment process that led to a landmark police oversight reform law. She worked as a community organizer before joining the Legislature. A Black woman, Miranda will represent a redrawn district where more than 75 percent of residents are people of color, the highest rate of all 40 Senate districts. She succeeds Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor.
ROBYN KENNEDY, D-Worcester: A longtime former political aide, Kennedy will return to Beacon Hill as an elected official herself when she takes the oath of office to represent a district including parts of the state's second-largest city. She beat Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty in the primary election and unenrolled candidate Lisa Mair in the general election, guaranteeing the seat will remain represented by a Democrat following the retirement of Sen. Harriette Chandler. Kennedy worked on campaigns for Congressman Jim McGovern and former state Sen. Ed Augustus, as deputy director of appointments for Gov. Deval Patrick and deputy chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, and then as deputy assistant secretary for children, youth and families in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. For the past five years, she has worked at YWCA Central Massachusetts, most recently as chief operating officer.
PAVEL PAYANO, D-Lawrence: The third Senate bid was the charm for Payano, who ran unsuccessfully in 2014 and 2018 before winning his bid to represent an incumbent-free, majority-minority Merrimack Valley district. Payano, a Lawrence city councilor and former School Committee member, defeated Eunice Zeigler in a primary and faced no opponent in the general election. A graduate of UMass Amherst, UMass Boston and Suffolk University Law School, Payano worked as an aide to former Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and in 2020 joined the Social Innovation Forum as director of community mobilization.
CHRIS FLANAGAN, D-Dennis: Flanagan, a member and former chair of the Dennis Select Board, flipped a Cape Cod district Republican Rep. Tim Whelan gave up to run for Barnstable County sheriff by beating GOP hopeful Tracy Post and third-party candidate Abraham Kasparian. Flanagan previously worked as administrative director for the offices of former U.S. Sens. John Kerry and Mo Cowan, then in Kerry's office when he served as secretary of state. Today, Flanagan serves as the executive officer for the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod.
DAWNE SHAND, D-Newburyport: Shand secured another Democratic flip this cycle, beating Republican C.J. Fitzwater in a race to represent Merrimac, Newburyport, Salisbury and parts of Amesbury. Both Shand and Fitzwater made the general election ballot after previously launching write-in campaigns to succeed former Republican Rep. James Kelcourse of Amesbury, whose resignation to join the Parole Board occurred after the deadline to withdraw his name from the primary ballot. Shand is president of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, and in 2020, she was the campaign manager on now-Rep. Jamie Belsito's unsuccessful primary challenge against Congressman Seth Moulton.
ESTELA REYES, D-Lawrence: Reyes narrowly beat former Rep. William Lantigua in the Democratic primary for a newly drawn incumbent-free district in the Merrimack Valley, then faced no opponent in the general election. She has served for a decade on the Lawrence City Council, where she is currently the vice president, and she also serves as a member of the Community Development Advisory Board that advises the city's mayor on distribution of Community Development Block Grant funds.
MANNY CRUZ, D-Salem: Like Reyes, Cruz topped a Democratic primary before running unopposed in the general election in a race to succeed Rep. Paul Tucker, who won election as Essex County District Attorney. Cruz works as advocacy director for Latinos for Education, where he has pushed for legislative action to diversify the state's educator workforce, and serves on the Salem School Committee. He was previously an aide to Tucker and to former Rep. Juana Matias.
JENNY ARMINI, D-Marblehead: After emerging victorious in a six-way primary -- the most crowded for a legislative race this cycle -- Armini cruised to election with no opponent on Nov. 8. She's worked as a speechwriter and, in the wake of President Donald Trump's 2016 victory, helped launch ElectBlue, a grassroots political organization that worked to elect Democrats to Congress.
ADRIANNE RAMOS, D-North Andover: Ramos fended off Republican Joseph Finn in a showdown between North Andover candidates, keeping the seat currently held by Rep. Christina Minicucci part of the Democrat caucus. A partner at law firm Prince Lobel who specializes in family law, Ramos was named a top lawyer in Boston Magazine's 2021 list.
RYAN HAMILTON, D-Methuen: Hamilton wields a status no other names on this list share: he's an incoming newcomer to the Legislature who never faced an opponent in either the primary or general election. He'll likely be one of the youngest, if not the outright youngest, members of the Legislature next session after graduating UMass Lowell in 2021. Succeeding retiring Rep. Linda Dean Campbell will not be his first foray into elected office, either -- while he was still in college, Hamilton won and served a single term on the Methuen City Council. He later worked for Congresswoman Lori Trahan and Methuen Mayor Neil Perry.
FRANCISCO PAULINO, D-Methuen: The other new lawmaker from Methuen also stands alone compared to his peers: Paulino was the only challenger to topple an incumbent during the primary elections. He beat five-term Rep. Marcos Devers to secure a spot on the general election ballot, where he was unopposed. Paulino previously served on the Lawrence School Committee, and he also works as both a tax associate and as the city of Lawrence's economic development and contract advisor.
AARON SAUNDERS, D-Belchertown: Saunders is another new lawmaker headed to Beacon Hill from western Massachusetts, in his case to fill the seat Oliveira gave up for his Senate bid. He beat James "Chip" Harrington in the general election. Saunders served on the Ludlow Select Board for seven years and spent six years as chief of staff to former Sen. Gale Candaras, and he also co-founded Loophole Brewing Services.
SHIRLEY ARRIAGA, D-Chicopee: In a race to decide who will represent a western Massachusetts district retiring Rep. Joseph Wagner held for more than three decades, Arriaga came out on top. The Chicopee High School teacher and U.S. Air Force veteran beat independent candidate Sean Goonan. She's now poised to become both the first woman and first Latina to represent the Eighth Hampden District, a fact U.S. Sen. Ed Markey touted to thousands of supporters at an Election Night party hosted by Massachusetts Democrats when he also called out the successes of Rita Mendes, Judith Garcia, Pavel Payano and Priscila Sousa.
PRISCILA SOUSA, D-Framingham: Another victor in a newly drawn, incumbent-free district where a majority of the population is nonwhite was Sousa, who topped her primary contest before sailing through the general election without an opponent. An immigrant from Brazil, Sousa is serving her second term on the Framingham School Committee, where she is currently its chair. She works as a sales manager at Vivint Solar.
JAMES ARENA-DeROSA, D-Holliston: Like victors in six other House districts that have gone without representation for months, Arena-DeRosa will restore representation to the tens of thousands of residents of his district after its most recent House member, former Rep. Carolyn Dykema, resigned mid-term for a new job. Arena-DeRosa, who beat Republican Loring Barnes, during his campaign touted experience in a range of public-sector roles over the course of his career, including as a special assistant to the secretary of state and as northeast regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. He also worked as director of public advocacy for Oxfam America. Arena-DeRosa sought the Democratic party's nomination for lieutenant governor in 2014 but did not make the ballot.
SIMON CATALDO, D-Concord: Cataldo kept a Democrat hold on a district northwest of Boston, which Rep. Tami Gouveia gave up to run for lieutenant governor, by defeating Chelmsford Republican Rodney Cleaves. He's an attorney and former federal prosecutor who worked in the Department of Justice's criminal division, where he was part of the team that prosecuted former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. Cataldo in 2011 founded academic intervention program Harlem Lacrosse, which his campaign said has since grown to a national nonprofit with more than 60 full-time employees across five cities.
RODNEY ELLIOTT, D-Lowell: Elliott, a former Lowell city councilor, continued the long-running carousel linking Lowell City Hall and the State House by winning the race for an open seat last held by former Rep. Tom Golden, who resigned in April to become Lowell city manager. It wasn't the first time Elliott bid for an open seat vacated by a Lowell lawmaker who became city manager: in 2018, after Sen. Eileen Donoghue resigned to take the top executive job in the Mill City, Elliott ran for her Senate position. He lost in the Democratic primary to eventual victor -- you might have guessed by now -- then-City Councilor Edward Kennedy. Elliott spent 24 years on the city council, including a stint as mayor, and previously worked as a legislative aide on Beacon Hill.
MARCUS VAUGHN, R-Wrentham: The state Republican Party's losses in the 2022 cycle could have been even worse if not for Vaughn, who won a tight race over Democrat Kevin Kalkut to maintain GOP control of a district bordering Rhode Island that Rep. Shawn Dooley gave up to challenge for the Senate. Vaughn has more than a decade of experience in sales, and for the past three years he's worked as vice president of sales at REP Marketing Solutions Inc., according to his LinkedIn page.
RITA MENDES, D-Brockton: Mendes emerged victorious from a Brockton City Council showdown against Shirley Rita in the primary election, the only contest along the way to winning an incumbent-free, majority-minority district. She works as an attorney and real estate agent in addition to her service on the City Council. Like Sousa, Mendes is an immigrant from Brazil, a fact that Markey said will make the duo the Legislature's first-ever Brazilian-American women.
CHRISTOPHER WORRELL, D-Boston: One of two new members of the House's Boston delegation, Worrell won a three-way primary election and then topped independent candidate Roy Owens in the race to succeed Miranda when she heads to the Senate. Since 2020, he has worked at the Boston Planning and Development Agency as assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion, and he's been involved in community organizing in Dorchester and Roxbury. Worrell also previously worked as an aide on Beacon Hill and as visitor service coordinator for the Massachusetts Historical Society.
JUDITH GARCIA, D-Chelsea: Garcia will represent a new incumbent-free, Hispanic-majority district anchored in Chelsea, where she serves as a city councilor. She beat fellow councilors Leo Robinson in the primary and Todd Taylor in the general. A Honduran immigrant, Garcia described herself as the first Central American elected to the Legislature.
SAMANTHA MONTAÑO, D-Boston: Montaño cruised to success with the support of Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and the Boston Globe's editorial board, winning a crowded primary before facing no opponent in November. Before launching a bid for the House, Montaño served in City Year and worked at a women's shelter. The Boston resident is a member of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council. Montaño identifies as non-binary.
KATE DONAGHUE, D-Westborough: She might be set to join the Legislature for the first time in January, but the superlatives have already been laid out for Donaghue, who has spent more than four decades volunteering on campaigns. The Boston Globe in 2014 called her "the Cal Ripken of Democratic door-knocking," (Boston Globe paywall) and CommonWealth Magazine this month dubbed her a "legendary campaign footsoldier." Donaghue, who in addition to her exhaustive volunteer efforts worked as a software engineer before retirement, won the race for an incumbent-free district to the east of Worcester by topping Republican Jonathan Hostage in the general election. She'll join faces already familiar to her in January -- Donaghue told The Codcast she has door-knocked in the past on behalf of Democrat Reps. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Dylan Fernandes and Andy Vargas.
One more addition to this list of new lawmakers is guaranteed, and a second is possible with recounts set to begin in a pair of House districts likely in early December. Either ANDREW SHEPHERD (R-Townsend), a call firefighter and owner of Bayberry Hill Water Company, or MARGARET SCARSDALE (D-Pepperell), a former Pepperell Select Board chair and teacher, will join the chamber's freshman class. Scarsdale holds a 17-vote lead heading into the recount, according to her campaign, a sliver of the nearly 20,000 votes cast across the Nashoba Valley district. If she can overcome a similar 10-vote deficit against Rep. Leonard Mirra (R-Georgetown), KRISTIN KASSNER (D-Hamilton) would also join the House for the first time. Kassner has worked for the past decade as planning director for the town of Burlington, and she served as president of the American Planning Association's Massachusetts chapter.
Serving the working press since 1894
ACEC/MA members only pay the ACEC/MA member rate for registration. Check the ACEC/MA Member Directory to see if your firm is an ACEC/MA member. If your firm is an ACEC/MA member, you are a member.
Important: You must use the account, including the username and password, of the individual you wish to register.
Forgot your password? | Need an account?
IMPORTANT: Altering your name or contact information during registration will overwrite your record in our membership database. Please do not share your login information with anyone else.
If you have additional questions regarding registration, contact us at 617/227-5551 or email@example.com.
Registration is processed through the ACEC/MA associated website, www.engineers.org. ACEC/MA is supported by the staff of The Engineering Center Education Trust.