DeLeo affirms plans to run for re-election

  • Speaker Robert DeLeo greeted Rep. Kevin Honan (right) during a stint as a Salvation Army “celebrity bell-ringer” Thursday at Downtown Crossing. shns photo

State House News Service
Published: 12/21/2017 8:49:37 PM

On track to become the longest continuously serving House speaker in state history in eight months, Rep. Robert DeLeo plans to run for re-election next year and then seek another two-year term as the leader of the House.

The Winthrop Democrat has a new counterpart in the bicameral Legislature, as Worcester Sen. Harriette Chandler was elected acting Senate president on Dec. 4.

“Everyone has their own different forms in terms of leadership, and what Acting President Chandler’s will be I’m not sure. We’ve known each other for a long time –- both served in the House together. She’s always been a friend, so I don’t expect any issues,” DeLeo told the News Service on Thursday.

DeLeo said he and Chandler have already discussed their goal of finishing up a criminal justice bill that is in conference committee, and they plan to talk about other priorities in the coming weeks.

“We plan to get together within the next couple of weeks to talk about other issues, and other priorities and whatnot,” DeLeo said.

DeLeo spoke to the News Service after ringing the Salvation Army bell. The speaker’s presence seemed to draw out the charitable side many members of the House who showed up to greet the speaker and make a donation. Reps. Michelle DuBois, Joseph McGonagle, Paul McMurtry, Jerald Parisella, Sean Garballey, Kevin Honan, and Paul Donato were among those on-hand at Downtown Crossing as the speaker clanged the bell and solicited donations for the non-profit.

The reins of the Senate shifted hands after Sen. Stanley Rosenberg stepped aside – with hopes that his departure will be temporary – amid allegations that his husband, Bryon Hefner, groped men who work on Beacon Hill and suggested he has influence over Senate business.

DeLeo has exchanged phone messages with Rosenberg, but he has not “had the opportunity to actually talk to him personally” since the Amherst Democrat stepped aside, he said.

A former chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, DeLeo has been one of the Big Three of state policymakers since Jan. 28, 2009, when Salvatore DiMasi resigned from the speakership and the House amid a federal investigation that later led to his imprisonment on corruption charges.

On Aug. 4, DeLeo will surpass the late Tom McGee – father of incoming Lynn Mayor Tom McGee – as the longest continuously serving speaker in Massachusetts state history.

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