Longtime Worcester senator Harriette Chandler is retiring

Longtime Worcester Senator Harriette Chandler is the latest Massachusetts senator to announce she will not run for office this year, saying it’s time for ‘new leadership’ to resume the fight for progress at Beacon Hill.

“I’ve always done my best to fight for progress, and I’m incredibly proud of everything my team, my community and I have accomplished together over the past three decades,” the former Senate speaker said. , 84 years old. at Worcester Town Hall on Wednesday, noting it is “time for new leadership.”

Chandler has served in the Senate since 2001 and served as Senate President for part of the 2017-18 term following the departure of embattled former Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg.

Senate Speaker Karen Spilka bid farewell to Chandler, saying “she will be missed in the Senate.”

Spilka praised Chandler for his work last session in pushing for the passage of the ROE Act, which enshrined the right to abortion in state law.

Chandler’s announcement means another Senate seat from 40 member states is up for grabs in the upcoming statewide elections that have already sparked a fair amount of musical chairs.

Four other state senators have already decided to give up their seats to run for statehood: Boston Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz is running for governor, Senator Methuen Diana DiZoglio has launched a bid for the state auditor and Senators Eric Lesser of Longmeadow and Adam Hinds of Pittsfield are both vying to be the next lieutenant governor.

Open seats in the Senate are also making their mark on the down races.

Minutes after Chandler’s announcement Wednesday morning, Rep. David LeBoeuf said he was “seriously considering running” to take over the seat of Senate President Emeritus.

“In the calls and conversations I’ve had, the most immediate concern I’m hearing right now is that we are losing the incredible clout and clout that Senator Chandler has gained for Central Mass through her experience. legislative and to his high position of leadership,” LeBoeuf said. “In the Senate, I think I would be the only one able to start because of my existing strong relationships with my fellow legislators across the state.”

Boston Rep. Nika Elugardo also officially kicked off her campaign for Chang-Diaz’s Senate seat on Wednesday. His colleague, Rep. Liz Miranda, is also vying for the seat.

Wednesday was a busy day for campaigns across the Commonwealth. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg also made her re-election bid official.

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