Longtime Newton State Representative Won’t Seek Re-Election

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/02/12/longtime-newton-state-representative-wont-seek-re-election/

By Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

State Representative Ruth Balser of Newton will not seek re-election to a 14th term, she announced, capping off a 25-year career in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Balser, 75, a Democrat first elected in 1998, told supporters she decided not to seek a spot on the ballot in November 2024 as the cycle ramps up. Her departure at the end of the term will punch a hole in House Speaker Ron Mariano’s leadership team.

“Looking back on these past 25 years, I am proud of my work representing this district, which (depending on re-districting) has included different parts of Newton and Brookline. Guided by the values and priorities of this community, I helped enact important, sometimes historic, policies for Massachusetts and secured support for local needs,” Balser wrote in an email message. “There will be plenty of time to review my years in office, as I serve right up until December 31. Please know that I plan to be fully engaged for the remainder of this legislative session. There is still a lot to accomplish before I wrap up!”

Balser, who describes herself as “the first psychologist to ever serve in the Massachusetts legislature,” topped her first Democratic primary with 45.7 percent of the vote. Since then, she’s cruised to re-election with practically no opposition — in fact, she  faced a challenger only once, in the 2010 Democratic primary, which she won with nearly 90 percent of the vote.

For several years, Balser has served as part of Mariano’s inner circle as third division chairman. She’s not the only member of the leadership team leaving:  state Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown), 66, the second assistant majority leader, also does not plan to seek re-election.

 

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