Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee had an up-close look at the prestige and honor associated with being the Speaker of the Mass. House of Representatives.
McGee’s father, the late Thomas W. McGee, served as Speaker of the House from 1975 to 1984, rising from his seat on the Lynn City Council to be elected state representative and then elected by his House colleagues to one of the most powerful positions in state government.
“My dad was elected Speaker when I was 19 so I visited him in the Speaker’s Office a lot,” said the mayor. “It was an exciting time. I was thinking of the day my dad was elected speaker, how excited he was and how proud we were of him. It was a culmination of the hard work he did over the years. I’m very proud of what he did when he was Speaker of the House. It’s a position that only a small number of people over 200-plus years have served in. I was thinking of my dad and how important it was for him to be able to be in that position and make a difference in people’s lives.”
McGee thus had a unique perspective as Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo retired from the position last week. DeLeo is seeking a teaching position at Northeastern University, his alma mater.
McGee served eight years in the House of Representatives with Robert DeLeo. As state senator and chair of the Mass. Democratic Party, McGee continued a good working relationship with DeLeo, who represented Revere and Winthrop in the House.
“I got a chance to know him really well and I really enjoyed serving with him,” said McGee. “I also had the opportunity to work with him as senator over the years and also as mayor of Lynn. He’s always been a great supporter of the city on issues of importance that we’ve needed help on. He topped off a great 30-year career by serving as Speaker of the House and he had a lot of major accomplishments. He was always available by phone on things of importance to Lynn and he’ll definitely be missed. I wish him the best.”
Interestingly, five candidates are running in the special election on March 2 for the state representative seat held by DeLeo. The Democratic candidates are Marc Silvestri and Juan Pablo Jaramillo of Revere and Jeffrey Turco, Valentino Capobianco, and Alicia DelVento of Winthrop. As of Wednesday, there was no Republican candidate running for the seat.
“It’s been 30 years so when there’s an open seat, there is an opportunity and it’s good to see a lot of candidates coming out and putting their names out to run,” said McGee. “Public service is tough during these pretty challenging times and it’s important that good people continue to be involved and serve in the Legislature. So that should be an interesting race with a good field of candidates.”