Massachusetts Democratic Party Elects Steve Kerrigan New Chairman

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The Massachusetts Democratic Party has a new chairman.

Steve Kerrigan, the party’s 2014 lieutenant governor nominee, was elected head of the state party Monday, April 24. He was unopposed, with support from Governor Maura Healey, the state’s top-ranking Democrat.

Kerrigan, 51, replaces Gus Bickford, who led the party for more than six years.

“I inherit a strong foundation thanks to Gus Bickford’s terrific leadership. Senator Kennedy always reminded us that you never rest on your laurels. You can always get better,” Kerrigan said, according to State House News Service. “My goal is to make the Massachusetts Democratic Party the gold standard for state parties across the country. We will do that by harnessing the tremendous energy at our grassroots, by representing all our people and being accessible to all, and by building an infrastructure that elects and supports Democratic leaders up and down the ballot. I cannot wait to get to work.”

Kerrigan was referring to Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009), the former longtime U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Kerrigan worked for Kennedy. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in Worcester.

He is a graduate of Saint John’s High School, a Xaverian Brothers school in Shrewsbury, and the University of Maryland. He lives in Lancaster with his civil-law spouse, Jacob, according to a press release from the party.

Kerrigan serves as chairman of the board of selectmen in Lancaster.

The Democratic Party dominates Massachusetts. Democrats hold a 37-3 majority in the state Senate and a 132-25 majority in the state House of Representatives. Democrats currently fill all six statewide constitutional offices (governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and auditor). The margin is 12-to-1 in the Senate, 5-to-1 in the House.

New Boston Post contacted Amy Carnevale, the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, seeking comment after Kerrigan’s election.

“Massachusetts is quickly becoming one of the least affordable states in the country under Democratic control. The policies promoted by the Massachusetts Democratic Party are driving too many residents out of state. Supermajorities of Democrats on Beacon Hill just last week decided that 62F, a citizen-passed ballot initiative, should be changed to meet the agenda of politicians over voters. The Republican Party stands on the side of families working to male ends meet and succeed in Massachusetts,” Carnevale said, by text message.

Chapter 62F is a state law approved by Massachusetts voters in a 1986 statewide referendum that limits how much tax revenue the state government can collect relative to increases in wages and salaries, with any money over the cap to be returned to taxpayers. The state’s taxpayers got tax rebates in late 2022 of about 14 percent of what they paid in 2021 state income tax.

Democrats in the state House of Representatives have recently approved measures that would exempt from the cap revenue from the new so-called Millionaire’s Tax (a 4 percent surtax on individual incomes that top $1 million, approved by voters in November 2022). House Democrats also want the state to send taxpayers flat-rate checks as rebates when the revenue cap is triggered, as opposed to proportional refunds based on how much taxpayers paid. In addition, they want to increase the amount of tax revenue that can be diverted to the state’s rainy day fund before the tax-rebate provision kicks in.

The state Senate has not yet taken up the House’s proposals.


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