James Kelcourse Resignation Drops House MassGOP Ranks To 27

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/06/30/james-kelcourse-resignation-drops-house-massgop-ranks-to-27/

By Colin Young
State House News Service

James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury) officially made the jump Wednesday from serving in the state House of Representatives to being a member of the Massachusetts Parole Board, shifting to a new job after nearly four terms in the House.

The Amesbury Republican submitted a resignation letter to the House clerk officially giving up his First Essex District seat as of the close of business Wednesday, June 29. He was confirmed by the Governor’s Council last week for a slot on the state board that grants and supervises paroles and said in his farewell remarks that he was being sworn in to the Parole Board job by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

“While I’m genuinely looking forward to serving the commonwealth in a new way in my new role, I will miss this job and this body. I won’t miss running for reelection every two years, but I will miss going door-to-door to talk to people in my district. I will miss picking up the phone at my office and helping someone find a new apartment, or with their unemployment, or a small business with getting their utilities hooked up. I will miss how it feels to help in the way that all of us can and do in this role,” Kelcourse said on the House floor.

Kelcourse was confirmed on a 5-3 vote of the Governor’s Council, though some councilors were upset by Kelcourse’s lack of experience in the mental health and substance abuse fields. Councilor Mary Hurley was among them and said she was initially planning to vote ‘no’ before changing course and supporting Kelcourse’s confirmation.

With the departure of Kelcourse, the House Republican caucus drops to 27 members out of the 160-seat House. Kelcourse joins a string of reps who have departed the House early this session, including Claire Cronin (D-Easton) who left to become ambassador to Ireland, Brad Hill (R-Ipswich) who is now on the state Gaming Commission, Sheila Harrington (R-Groton) who was nominated by Governor Charlie Baker to be a clerk magistrate, and Tom Golden (a Democrat) who left to become Lowell city manager.


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