Senator Anthony Petruccelli Set to Resign in January

Senator Anthony Petruccelli, who served first in the Massachusetts House and later the Senate, announced he will resign from his Senate seat effective sometime in January to take a job in the private sector.

Petruccelli, who is currently the Senate’s Majority Whip, will go to work for Kearney, Donovan and McGee as a new member of their growing firm.

“I love my job as a State Senator,” he said on Friday. “However after almost 17 years in legislature and 20 years as a public servant, my family and I felt it was time to move in a different direction for me professionally and for our lives as a family. While it is sad to leave something that I have loved and that has been representing the people of First Suffolk and Middlesex District for almost nine years, it is exciting to move into the private sector.”

Petruccelli, of East Boston, who got his start in politics as the late Mayor Thomas Menino’s neighborhood liaison to East Boston, was first elected during one of the neighborhood’s most hotly contested state representative races in 1999.

He served in the House with distinction for seven years, chairing committees like the Committee of Election Laws and the Community on Development and Small Business. As East Boston’s state representative, Petruccelli tackled issues ranging from environment, housing, economic development and education.

In 2007, when former Senate President Robert Travaglini resigned from the Senate, Petruccelli ran and won the seat left vacant by Travaglini during a special election.

In the Senate, Petruccelli rose through the ranks quickly and chaired several committees there, most notably as Chairman of Financial Services. Last year Petruccelli was tapped by Senate President Stan Rosenberg for a leadership role in the Senate as Majority Whip.

State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz praised Petruccelli for his service in the Senate.

“It has been an honor to serve with Anthony Petruccelli for the past six years,” said Michlewitz. He has been a class act, a mentor, and more importantly, a friend. I am excited for him and his family as he starts a new chapter in his career.”

Michlewitz has been mentioned as a potential candidate in a special election for the Senate seat.

“I am honored by the number of people that have offered their support if I choose to run and I will be making a decision shortly,” said Michlewitz.

Three current Revere city officials have expressed interest in the seat.

Revere Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino – who is believed to have secured the votes to be the new Revere city council president in January – has told the newspaper it is “highly likely” she will consider a run.

Meanwhile, Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo said in a Facebook post on Saturday that he is “strongly considering” a run for the Senate seat. Rizzo lost a close race for mayor of Revere in November, and still hasn’t conceded that race to Revere Mayor-elect Brian Arrigo.

Rizzo ran for the same seat against Petruccelli in a special election in 2007 and lost.

“Anthony has been a tremendous public servant, an asset to Revere and his district, and a friend to many of us,” he wrote. “I know I speak for all of us when I wish he and his family well…Some of you, maybe most, might recall when I ran for State Senate back in 2007. It was a hard-fought race that united Revere, but in the end, resulted in defeat…That is why, with Anthony’s departure, I am strongly considering another run to represent you in the First Suffolk and Middlesex district.”

Also in Revere, Councillor Steve Morabito said on Monday that he is considering a run.

After such positive feedback (from my supporters), it is with great certainty I am considering to run for senator,” he wrote on Monday. “After 17 years of serving our Commonwealth, Senator Anthony Petruccelli will resign his seat.  The Senator’s commitment and service to the people of this district are things we should look for in our next Senator. I believe I can accomplish this challenge and work to the best of our people’s needs.”

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