Expelled Rep’s Facebook post suggests possible run for office

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2016/02/03/expelled-reps-facebook-post-suggests-possible-run-for-office/

STATE HOUSE — Call it a comeback?

Former state Rep Carlos Henriquez, who in 2014 became the first member of the House to be expelled by his colleagues in almost a century, stoked speculation on Wednesday that he may be eyeing a return to the House with a cryptic Facebook update.

Henriquez on Wednesday morning, while House Democrats were holding a political strategy session at the Omni Parker House, changed his Facebook profile photo to a portrait on a light blue background with the words, “State Representative 5th Suffolk District” and a second line that stated “Committed to Community.”

The Facebook update prompted about a dozen comments with either pledges of support or questions about whether the photo meant Henriquez planned to seek his old seat, now held by state Rep. Evandro Carvalho, of Dorchester. The post quickly spread among lawmakers, including members of the Boston delegation who said they had been forwarded a link to the page.

Henriquez later responded to commentors on Facebook and with a post on Twitter linking to a sign-up page to volunteer to door-knock, phone bank or raise money for a non-descript “community campaign.”

The House in February 2014 voted 146-5 to expel Henriquez from the House following his conviction for assault and battery against a former girlfriend. The entire episode gripped the State House for months as Henriquez was shuttled back-and-forth from jail several times in handcuffs to appear before the House Ethics Committee and appeared before his House colleagues in person to declare his innocence.

A handful of members recommended a lesser punishment for Henriquez. Rep. Rep. Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat and friend of Henriquez, offered a defeated proposal to simply issue a formal censure. At the time, he predicted Henriquez could one day try to return.

“If he runs again I do believe he can win the seat,” Holmes said two years ago.

Carvalho has become a popular member in the House, and would likely enjoy strong support among the Boston delegation should he face a challenge from Henriquez. House Speaker Robert has called Carvalho a “rising star.”

Nomination papers for legislative seats become available on Feb. 16 and signatures must be turned in at the local level by May 3.

A phone message left for Henriquez was not immediately returned.

— Written by Matt Murphy

Copyright State House News Service

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