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Who will occupy Lydia Edwards’ seat on Boston City Council?


District 1 councilor declared victory in a state Senate race. Who will succeed him on the board?

Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards addresses campaign staff and volunteers at an election monitoring night on December 14. Erin Clark / Globe Staff

  • Lydia Edwards claims victory in State Senate special election over Anthony D’Ambrosio

Lydia Edwards, Boston city councilor for District 1, won a seat in the State Senate for the 1st District of Suffolk and Middlesex on Tuesday in an uncontested special election.

“I am grateful to the people of Boston, Cambridge, Revere and Winthrop for sending me to Beacon Hill to fight for our communities,” the senator-elect said in a statement after declaring victory. “I know how to stand up for what you believe in, build a movement and win, and I can’t wait to continue working at State House.”

So, with Edwards soon on his way to Beacon Hill, what will happen to his seat on the board?

Tuesday’s victory comes after Edwards was re-elected to the board in November. His departure from the city’s governing body will trigger a special election for a successor for the remainder of his near-full term.

Under the city’s charter, officials are required to hold a preliminary election on a Tuesday within 62 to 76 days of approval of a city council election decree. General elections would follow, 28 days later.

It’s unclear exactly when Edwards will start his new gig.

When she does, she will be the only black member of the state Senate and the first woman and person of color to represent her district.

In the meantime, here’s what we know about the next step for its current headquarters:

Running ?

Residents can expect the answer to this question to change in the days and weeks to come.

But so far a few candidates are expected to run, and many more are apparently considering running for the council headquarters, which represents the North End, Charlestown and East Boston.

The Boston Globe reported late last month that at least two people have announced they are running for the job:

  • Tania Del Rio, Executive Director of YWCA Cambridge, a non-profit organization that operates 103 housing units for low-income women and 10 emergency housing units for families, has jumped in the race.

    Del Rio, 36, was born in Mexico and arrived in Massachusetts in 2014 for his graduate studies. In 2017, she moved to East Boston where she lives with her husband and two children, according to the World.

    Del Rio was planning to step down this month to focus on the campaign.

    Previously, she worked as Director of the Boston Mayor’s Office for the Advancement of Women.

    “I know how to navigate large, complex systems,” she told the World.

  • East Boston resident Gabriela “Gigi” Coletta, who was previously campaign manager and chief of staff to Edwards, also confirmed to the newspaper that she was running for the seat.

    Coletta, 29, is currently head of external relations at the New England Aquarium. She said she “will be the bold and effective advocate this district deserves.”

    “District 1 faces unique challenges and this time requires a seasoned leader to tackle our most pressing issues,” Coletta said in a statement to World. “We are facing a housing affordability crisis and inequalities of displacement in our public education system, as well as a significant threat to our riparian communities due to rising sea levels and of climate change. “

Who thinks of running?

  • Jay O’Brien, a 35-year-old Charlestown resident and vice president of Ward 2 Democrats, could join the race.

    O’Brien, who has a campaign committee registered with the state’s Campaign and Political Finance Office, told the World he is “seriously considering” a race.

  • Jason Ruggiero, 32, an East Boston resident and community engagement manager for the Boston Planning & Development Agency, spoke about the idea of ​​a campaign with his friends and family at the end of last month on World reported.
  • Maria Lanza, 26, who is a former neighborhood liaison at the Neighborhood Services Bureau for the North End, plans to introduce herself while she waits to see how the candidate field develops, according to the outlet.

    “I keep my options open,” Lanza said.

  • Andrés Del Castillo, 31, co-director of advocacy group Right to the City Boston, told World he plans to start the race and he hoped to have “more news” at the start of the year.

    “For generations, residents and organizations have been building toward a vision for Boston that centers a true people’s agenda,” Del Castillo said in a statement. “We’re finally starting to see some of the fruits of this work, but now more than ever we need to be true to the community process that brought us here. “

Who doesn’t run?

A few people who are said to be candidates have also purged the air and said they have no plans to run for Edwards’ seat, according to the World:

  • Kathryn Burton, a North End resident and former chief of staff to former Mayor Marty Wash, confirmed to the newspaper that she would not be running.

    “It’s incredibly flattering that people came up with my name and believe that I could contribute to the city I love as an elected official,” she said. “I look forward to continuing my service in any form at another time. “

  • Stephen Passacantilli, who made an unsuccessful bid for the seat in 2017, told the World he considered the possibility of trying again, but decided not to. Instead, he preferred to “leave the care to the young talents of the neighborhood,” he said.

    “I don’t think it’s my time anymore,” he said.


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