Milton State Senator Walter Timilty Will Pursue County Clerk Post

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By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service

State Senator Walter Timilty III will shift gears this campaign season and run for the county job his father currently holds, opening up another Senate seat in Massachusetts.

Timilty confirmed his plans to State House News Service after Politico first reported them Monday, citing an anonymous source.

The Milton Democrat’s run for Norfolk County clerk of courts, a post held since 2001 by his father, Walter Timilty Jr., creates a wide-open race in a third contiguous Senate seat in this fall’s elections.

Voters will now be making fresh choices for state Senate in a geographic swath stretching from Timilty’s Milton, through state Senator Marc Pacheco’s Taunton-area district, down to state Senator Susan Moran’s (D-Falmouth) territory that runs from Pembroke to upper Cape Cod.

Timilty is set to face Clerk Magistrate Robert Jubinville, a former Governor’s Council member and longtime criminal defense lawyer, in the Democratic primary.

Jubinville told State House News Service on Monday that he had already collected enough nomination signatures for the Norfolk post. He currently works as clerk magistrate of Framingham District Court, a job for which he was nominated by Governor Charlie Baker at the end of 2022.

As part of his former law practice, Jubinville said he worked more frequently in the Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham than in other Superior Court locations, and the Dedham job is closer to his Milton home.

“All of the people there … were so good to me over the years, helping me whenever I had some issue. They were invaluable to me. I like them an awful lot in that building,” Jubinville said, adding that he learned “a lot about being a clerk” since leaving the Governor’s Council for his Framingham clerkship.

Jubinville said he “would’ve run for this years ago if it was open,” and decided to pull papers when he heard “rumors that it was coming up.”

Timilty, currently serving his fourth term in the Massachusetts Senate following 18 years in the Massachusetts House, said he picked up his nomination papers Monday, March 11 to run for clerk of courts. He had previously pulled nomination papers to run for another Senate term, according to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.

His father “recently” decided to retire due to health reasons, Timilty said, adding that Walter Timilty Jr. had created a “great legacy” in the office.

“My father is my role model in life,” Timilty said. “… I am someone who works seven days a week and generally six nights, happily. Public service is my vocation.”

Currently co-chairman of the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Safety, he has also co-chaired the joint committees on Veterans Affairs and State Administration during his seven years in the Senate.

“First and foremost, what has attracted me to this work is, as the clerk of courts, you can have a great impact on people’s lives throughout Norfolk County and beyond,” he told State House News Service.

Multiple lawmakers have turned their attention to court jobs this election cycle.  State Senator Susan Moran (D-Falmouth) is running for Barnstable County Superior Court clerk, and state Representative Daniel Carey (D-Easthampton) is running for Hampshire County clerk of courts.

Timilty comes from a South Shore political family that includes his cousin, former state senator  James Timilty (D-Walpole), who resigned from the Massachusetts Senate in 2017 to take a county-level job as Norfolk County treasurer.

Another cousin, Kelly Timilty, served on the Governor’s Council and twice fended off primary challenges from Jubinville before she died in 2012. Jubinville won the 2012 election to represent Council District 2, a seat that has sat vacant since 2023 when he left to work in Framingham.

Two other candidates have pulled papers to run for the Norfolk, Plymouth l, and Bristol Senate seat, according to the state secretary’s office:  Republican Brian Muello of Braintree and Democrat Kathleen Camara of Randolph.

The Senate district includes Milton, Stoughton, Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, and parts of Braintree and Randolph.


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