Three Candidates Announce for Probate Clerk Position

March 13, 2014
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Longtime East Boston resident John Sepulveda, as well as former At-Large City Councilor Felix Arroyo Sr. and local attorney Martin J. Keogh will be tossing their hats into the ring for the Suffolk County’s Register of Probate and Family Court seat. The Democratic primary will take place on Tuesday, September 9, and includes all wards in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.

Sepulveda, who came to Eastie in 1982 from Colombia, has been hitting the pavement for the past couple of weeks gaining signatures and talking to residents in the neighborhood and the rest of Suffolk County.

Sepulveda says he already has the 1,000 necessary signatures to be on the ballot during the September 9th Primary Election and will run on the platform of brining the office back into the communities.

“I’m running because I think there is a big disconnect between the office and the public at this time,” said Sepulveda. “Talking to people on the streets I’ve been hearing a lot of people are not sure what the office does, they think it should be appointed rather than elected, and that a lot of people skip the office when voting.”

Sepulveda said he feels because the office is tax funded it is very important to make the office more transparent.

“It has a reputation of being an office that career politicians seek at the end of their careers,” he said. “At some point in our lives we or someone we love will have to use the Register of Probate and Family Court office so one of my early priorities would be to make it more accessible, have more information in the communities about the office, set up a webpage (there currently is no webpage) because it can be a complicated office to maneuver when you need it and are dealing with divorce or family court issues.”

Sepulveda also wants to set up a roadmap in the communities of Suffolk County and take the office into the neighborhoods.

“I want to partner with community groups throughout Suffolk County and bring regular seminars on how to access the office and navigate the system.”

Sepulveda currently works at United Health Care as a Senior Care Option Provider. There he helps seniors enroll in Mass Health and get additional benefits like dental insurance at no cost to them.

Sepulveda is an East Boston High and UMass Amherst graduate. He lives in Eastie with his wife, Marta, and two children, Pamela and Patrick.

Arroyo has also taken the first steps in his campaign to become Suffolk  County’s Register of Probate and Family Court.  Earlier this month he declared his intention to be a candidate for the seat, which includes Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.

“I have dedicated my life to public service with an emphasis on children and families,” Arroyo said, after signing his paperwork. “As the Register of Probate and Family Court, I will work to make sure that everyone is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.  I am asking the voters of Suffolk County for their support so that I can continue my life’s work.”

Arroyo said he is excited about the prospect of returning to elected office.

“I believe deeply in public service,” said Arroyo.  “My family and I have been given tremendous opportunities, and I am honored to be able to give back.  My experience as both an administrator and an elected official make me uniquely qualified to serve as your Register of Probate & Family Court.”

Keogh, an area attorney who practices family and probate law throughout Suffolk  County, has announced his intention to run for the position of Suffolk County Register of Probate.

“As an attorney who practices probate and family law in Suffolk County, I see significant changes that must be made to the Register of Probate’s office,” said Keogh said. “If elected, I will be focused on bringing greater efficiency, transparency, and, above all, professionalism to all users of the Probate Court.”

Keogh has already submitted more than the 1,000 signatures required to get on the ballot.

“It’s time to bring this office into the 21st century.  I will decrease paperwork and wait time by implementing a user-friendly online intake and filing process, expand the use of multilingual forms and applications, and create innovative partnerships to assist families who cannot afford an attorney,” said Keogh.