Councilor Lydia Edwards is giving serious consideration to running for the potentially open state senate seat that covers some of her district, including her home base of East Boston, but does not include Charlestown. Edwards said this week she is looking at the potential opportunity, which has arisen from the speculation – and in likely factual – information that State Sen. Joe Boncore, of Winthrop, is stepping down from his seat to pursue a job at the Massachusetts Biotech Council. The district includes East Boston, the Seaport, downtown Boston, the North End, Winthrop, Revere, parts of the South End/Fenway, and parts of Cambridge.
This week Councilor Edwards said she couldn’t rule out a run for the seat, but she also said she’s not made any hard-fast decisions and really enjoys her position and seniority on the City Council. A decision in either direction would emerge in the coming weeks, she said. “It is an opportunity,” she said. “It’s a rare one, and I’m looking at it. I’m going to talk with my friends and family and of course my supporters throughout the district to see what they think. Ultimately, I will have to make a decision and I’m not there yet.” In the neighboring North End, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz told the paper he has no intention of running for state senate.
“I am very happy in my role in the House as the Chair of Ways and Means,” he said. Lisa Kashinsky of Politico Massachusetts Playbook first reported last week that Sen. Boncore was letting his colleagues know that he “plans to leave for a job at MassBio [Massachusetts Biotechnology Council],” it set off a lot of speculation and political activity in that senate district. The Boston Globe followed with a story stating that “Boncore, 39, still has more interviews for the leadership job, according to a person familiar with the hiring process.”
The Patriot Bridge has been unsuccessful in its efforts to secure a statement from Sen. Boncore about the job offer. However, Mass. State Senate Clerk Michael Hurley has confirmed to the newspaper that Sen. Boncore has filed disclosure forms stating that he is a prospective employee of the Massachusetts Biotechnology. Boncore has served as state senator for East Boston since 2016 when he won a special election for the seat previously held by Anthony Petruccelli.
If Edwards does run, she would likely face fellow East Boston elected official, State Rep. Adrian Madaro – who has signaled a serious interest in running. There are also at least two candidates from Revere seriously considering a run. Were Edwards to run, depending on when and if Boncore leaves, she could potentially be on the ballot in November for both offices – Council and state senate.