April 19 2017

Arlington State Rep. Announces Run for Late Sen. Donnelly's Vacant Seat

By: Rich Hosford

The first contender to fill State Senator Ken Donnelly’s former seat has thrown his hat in the ring.


23rd Middlesex District State Representative Sean Garballey, D-Arlington, said in an email to Arlington residents on Tuesday, April 18 that he would run for the vacant 4th Middlesex Senate District seat left by the late State Senator Ken Donnelly. Donnelly passed on Sunday, April 2 due to complications from a brain tumor that he was diagnosed with eight months prior.


The 4th Middlesex Senate District consists of the Towns of Arlington, Billerica, Burlington; Precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 in the Town of Lexington; and the City of Woburn.


Garballey made the announcement on the Arlington List, an email list service for Arlington residents, Wicked Local reports. The announcement was subsequently posted to the Massachusetts political news site, bluemassgroup.com.


According to his biography on his state rep. page, Garballey has been in the House of Representatives since 2008. Prior to that he was an Arlington Town Meeting member from 2003 to 2008 and a member of the Arlington School Committee from 2005 to 2008. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and was a Master’s of Science candidate at Suffolk University.


In his announcement Garballey started by praising Donnelly for his work in the State Senate and said he considers him a friend.


For those of us lucky enough to have called Senator Ken Donnelly a friend, this has been a sad time,” he wrote. “Ken put everyone else first – as a fireman, a legislator, and a husband, father, and grandfather – and we in Massachusetts are forever indebted to him for his lifetime of service and sacrifice.”


Garballey added that he would continue the work Donnelly started.


“Senator Donnelly and I were partners throughout the last decade and I want to make sure his work continues in the State Senate,” he said.


Garballey said nobody could replace the late senator but that he feels he would be a good fit for the position.

“While no one can replace Ken, I believe that my extensive legislative experience in local and state government and in our community, makes me a strong candidate for the State Senate,” he wrote.  


Garballey also listed legislative achievements he’s proud of and believes show his standing as a candidate.


“As a State Representative, I have worked to advance policies to protect the environment, maintain an inclusive society and ensure equal rights for all, preventing MBTA service cuts in our district and leading the effort on developing a real solution to the MBTA, improving conditions for children in foster care, and reducing income inequality to enable middle class families in Massachusetts to not just make ends meet but provide a better future for the next generation,” he said. “I am proud of the work I have done and, with your support, I would be honored to continue this work as our next State Senator.”

The primary election has been set for Tuesday, June 27 and the general election has been set for Tuesday July 25.


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