With no Republican challenger Charlestown resident Dan Ryan easily won the Second Suffolk District State Representative seat during Tuesday night’s special election. His victory brings the seat back to Charlestown for the first time in nearly 40 years.
In Charlestown Ryan received 1,303 votes or 98 percent of the vote. In Chelsea, Ryan received 356 votes and ended the night with 1,659 total votes in the district.
“It feels fantastic to be elected state representative,” said Ryan. “It’s one step. I’m halfway there. I still have to get on the ballot and run in September and November. But this is a big step. There’s some finality to the first phase of this. I’m grateful to the people of Charlestown and Chelsea for their support. The enthusiasm that I felt from the people who came out and voted [Tuesday] was great.”
During the Democratic Primary in March Ryan trounced the opposition and topped the ticket with 2,290 votes. Finishing second to Ryan was Chelsea’s Roy Avellaneda who was over a thousand votes behind with 1,160. Charlestown’s Chris Remmes rounded out the election with only 438.
The seat was left vacant by Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty, a Chelsea resident who held the seat for 17 years has left the State House to become corporate counsel for the City of Boston. The seat includes Charlestown and a majority of Chelsea.
Ryan’s victory brings the seat back to Charlestown for the first time since the late 1970s. Jimmy Collins won the seat back in 1977. In 1978 the seat was redistricted and Chelsea’s Richie Voke ousted Collins. The seat has been held by Chelsea residents ever since.
Prior to working for U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano as his chief aid, Ryan spent ten years working at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club where he served as director of the Teen Center and program coordinator for the Healthy Charlestown Coalition.
Ryan and his wife, Kara Segal-Ryan, are raising their three children in Charlestown.