During an interview Tuesday District 1 Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards made it clear she is not running against sitting State Senator Joe Boncore of Winthrop but will run if and when Boncore, who is in negotiations for a job with Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, officially gives up his senate seat.
On Tuesday Edwards, who was elected as the first woman of color to the District 1 Council seat in 2017, said out of respect and deference for the sitting senator who has not left office she will only officially announce when Boncore’s exit becomes official.
“My life has been entirely defined by service – from my time as a military brat as my mother served in the United States Air Force, to my work passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, to my time as a Boston City Councilor,” she said. “My first campaign for office was in pursuit of the Massachusetts Senate seat representing the First Suffolk & Middlesex District, and now that opportunity has come full circle and presented itself again.”
Edwards said after weeks of conversations with family, friends, and colleagues after news broke of a potential Boncore exit from the senate she made the decision to share her intentions publicly.
When Senator Boncore steps down, I will formally step up,” she said.
Edwards said Boncore has been a steadfast partner in the senate and has served the public with strength and a keen sense of right and wrong.
“Using his moral compass and thoughtful advocacy to stand up for the residents of this district, it would be a great honor to follow his legacy,” she said. “As he explores the next chapter of his career, I am prepared to begin mine. I looked at the experience I’ve had as a city council and I know that it’s a matter of service and I know that I could help a lot of people as a senator. That has been the driving factor in my decision making.”
Edwards has emerged as a leader in the Council to protect Boston’s affordable housing stock through innovative and bold policy proposals. In year one, she introduced and passed a city ordinance assisting seniors who are house-rich but cash-poor pay their back taxes to stay in their homes. She has spearheaded reforms to Inclusionary Development and Linkage and passed through the council a real estate transfer fee on the sale of properties valued over $2 million, with all proceeds dedicated to affordable housing.
Edwards currently serves East Boston, the North End and Charlestown. The senate district would include both Eastie and the North End as well as Winthrop, Revere, the Seaport, Chinatown, Bay Village, Fenway, the South End and parts of Beacon Hill and Cambridgeport.
Edwards has also pushed to reduce airport pollution, expand water transportation, address traffic congestion, ensure community voice in major energy projects, rebuild public housing and stop proposed highway expansion.
Edwards joins a growing field of potential candidates that includes Eastie Rep. Adrian Madaro and Revere School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio.
Rep. Adrian Madaro has expressed his desire to run for the seat and like Edwards said he would only make a final decision and formally announce if and when Boncore decides to leave office out of respect for his Beacon Hill colleague.
“I’m grateful for Senator Boncore’s friendship and service to our community at the State House,” said Madaro. “With his partnership, we’ve secured funding for vital infrastructure and social services, and we’ve advanced important issues in our districts, including transportation. While I’m saddened to learn we may be losing an advocate for East Boston at the State House, I’m excited for his opportunity at MassBio. I am strongly considering running for his seat if he vacates it. However, out of respect for Senator Boncore and his family, I am waiting for his official resignation before I launch a campaign.”
The 25-year-old Revere resident, D’Ambrosio, was first elected to public office in 2019 when he topped the ticket in Revere for School Committee with an impressive 5,243 votes. D’Ambrosio has already formally announced his candidacy for the senate seat at the end of July.