DeLeo Files Disclosure that He is Considering a Position at Northeastern

 Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo has disclosed that he is negotiating job opportunities with Northeastern University. 

Speaker DeLeo’s Office released the following statement last Friday, Dec. 18:

“Today I filed a disclosure letter with the House Clerk and the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission to disclose that I intend to begin negotiating prospective employment opportunities with Northeastern University. As of today, I have not personally had any discussions with anyone from Northeastern University relative to any possible employment opportunities.

 “On December 16, 2020, I requested that my personal legal counsel contact the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission to discuss my status and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Conflict of Interest Law. Although, based on my current status, a disclosure is not currently required I have nevertheless elected to disclose my intention to begin negotiating prospective employment opportunities with Northeastern University out of an abundance of caution.

 “As such, and while I know of no matter, particular matter or general legislation presently before me in my official role that would affect Northeastern University, I filed the disclosure to dispel any appearance of conflict pursuant to G.L. c. 268A, s. 23(b)(3).”

 As one would expect, the news of the state’s most powerful Democrat’s decision to pursue a position at Northeastern set off a media frenzy. DeLeo was the lead story on all of Boston’s TV news shows and has been featured prominently in the daily editions of the Boston Globe and Boston Herald newspapers.

The Speaker DeLeo-to-Northeastern University story was the talk of the town in the two communities – Revere and Winthrop – that he has so ably represented in the Nineteenth Suffolk District since taking office in 1990. He has been the Speaker of the House since 2009, the longest-serving Speaker in the history of the Commonwealth.

DeLeo has been a champion on many important issues – municipal health reform, economic development, education, a nation-leading gun safety law, opioid addiction, domestic violence, veterans’ benefits, and clean energy – during his legislative career. Many organizations and programs, such as the Winthrop and Revere Chambers of Commerce, early-education and childcare, and the school districts have benefited from his leadership and his ability to bring home state funding for local projects.

“I think Bob DeLeo is the best speaker of the house in our state’s history,” said Revere Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto. “He’s had our back on Beacon Hill. He has a tremendous record representing the City of Revere. He’s done so much for us. Just to have a Speaker representing your hometown is a very big deal and he was very good to Revere. His legacy will go down as one of the greatest speakers, I think, for what he accomplished in so many different areas.”

DeLeo’s popularity in both communities and statewide has been unmatched in the annals of Massachusetts politics. The charismatic Speaker’s many appearances on the WCVB-TV show, “On The Record” have generated the highest ratings.

Despite his many statewide obligations as Speaker, DeLeo always attended events and gatherings such as Chamber of Commerce awards dinners and installations for local organizations. And while he has rooted for both teams in the annual Revere-Winthrop Thanksgiving football games, DeLeo’s support of the Winthrop Vikings is legendary in the town. His knowledge of high school sports history is extraordinary.

DeLeo’s decision to pursue a position at Northeastern generated brisk political movement in that five candidates have emerged in a potential race for DeLeo’s seat. The five candidates considering a run at this time for the seat are Revere Director of Veterans Services Marc Silvestri, Democratic State Committeeman Juan Pablo Jaramillo, Revere Beach Partnership President and former Winthrop Town Council President Jeffrey Turco, Winthrop School Committee member Valentino Capobianco, and Democratic State Committeewoman Alicia DelVento.

Following are the statements of the five potential candidates for state representative:

Jeffrey Turco

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

As many of you have heard, Speaker DeLeo is rumored to be stepping down for a role in academia. His leadership and commitment to our communities has been on display for over 30 years and leaves tremendous shoes to fill.

I have spoken with many of you over the past several days, and your encouragement and enthusiasm for a “Turco for Representative” campaign is humbling to say the least. Your feedback is all the more meaningful to me as we reflect on a difficult year and with Christmas just a week away. I am blessed to have friends and family like you.

Running for office is never an easy task…especially in these strange times. I have spoken to my family, and upon careful consideration, have decided to run for State Representative should Speaker DeLeo make his departure official.

Over the coming weeks and months, I look forward to continuing a conversation about what you would like to see in your next State Representative. If you would like to reach me, please do not hesitate to email [email protected] or call 508-450-8843.

Valentino Capobianco

“Though there is no open seat as of this hour, it certainly appears that there will be a special election for the Nineteenth Suffolk State Representative seat in 2021. 

First, let me say that I am truly humbled by the amount of people that reached out to me this week. 

I am seriously considering becoming a candidate for State Representative if and when the seat becomes available. I plan on taking this next couple of days to talk with my family, friends, supporters, and voters throughout our district and look forward to the discussions ahead. 

Having been in public service since the day after I graduated from college and having the opportunity to work alongside Speaker DeLeo and others, I have seen the value in having representatives in Government that care about people and stand up for our communities. As a school committee member and former Chair, I understand the challenges that are facing working parents, educators and local officials in this unprecedented time. 

Speaker DeLeo is a valued friend and mentor and I know that the next Representative from our district has big shoes to fill.”

Alicia DelVento

“I have seen first-hand the hard work Speaker DeLeo has done for Winthrop, Revere, and the Commonwealth. When the Speaker does choose to step aside, I will seriously consider running.”

DeLeo is a 1972 graduate of Northeastern and a graduate of Suffolk University Law School. He has

“Today I filed a disclosure letter with the House Clerk and the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission to disclose that I intend to begin negotiating prospective employment opportunities with Northeastern University. As of today, I have not personally had any discussions with anyone from Northeastern University relative to any possible employment opportunities.

 “On December 16, 2020, I requested that my personal legal counsel contact the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission to discuss my status and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Conflict of Interest Law. Although, based on my current status, a disclosure is not currently required I have nevertheless elected to disclose my intention to begin negotiating prospective employment opportunities with Northeastern University out of an abundance of caution.

 “As such, and while I know of no matter, particular matter or general legislation presently before me in my official role that would affect Northeastern University, I filed the disclosure to dispel any appearance of conflict pursuant to G.L. c. 268A, s. 23(b)(3).”

Marc Silvestri

“I have completed my forms with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) and became certified as a candidate with the state Monday. I will 100 percent be a candidate, but if Speaker DeLeo remains in the seat, I will not.

Over this past weekend, I spoke with a lot of close family and friends, and together we decided that we’re up for the challenge if it comes to be. I am going to be honored to have the ability to just run for this seat and that’s the truth.

It was something that I wasn’t expecting. It was something that I’ve thought about for a long time, getting the bug on the campaign trails of the Senator and the Mayor, and working for the Veterans Office and seeing the impact that I have on lives in such a small micro-level – that I am excited just to have the opportunity to make that impact on so many more people.

In this period of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented times of hunger and homelessness, we’re going to see issues in the district that not many people are going to be used to. And even with the vaccines coming through, I feel like no one is ready for the “after effect” of the pandemic. And what I mean by that is ‘anywhere you’re removed from your comfortable environment, I think we’re going to have a lot of people – and this is  going to be one of my top issues: COVID-19 relief; making sure we have relief not only for tenants but landlords, making sure the vaccine is available whether you have health insurance or not, and making sure that something is done with the mental health and homelessness issues that we’re already starting to see rise.

I like to pride myself as a good leader – and that’s listening as well as leading, and not being afraid to speak up. I think those are important things and that’s what we need right now.

I have been reaching out to people and I have been getting a great response to my candidacy. A lot of people are very excited and I’m excited and my family is excited.”

Juan Pablo Jaramillo

“I am exploring the ways in which I can extend my public service to the communities of Revere and Winthrop. When my family and I immigrated to the United States, Revere invested in me as we sought refuge and in doing so this City, this community, renewed its commitment to the American Dream. It is here that I learned the values of hard work and service and that is why I have dedicated my life to giving back to our community; whether fighting for working families by ensuring they have a better wage, my experience in the State Legislature crafting policy working for Senator Boncore, serving on the Revere Planning Board, or coaching Pop Warner football — I am dedicated to the growth and success of Revere and Winthrop. In the coming weeks, and as I observe the holidays ahead, I will be talking with residents, family, and loved ones about what our community needs the most and how I can continue my service.”

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