Around New England

West Roxbury State Rep Cashing In With Massachusetts Biotechnology Council Gig

February 26, 2023

A West Roxbury state representative is resigning his seat to become head of government affairs for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

Edward Coppinger, a Democrat, will become at least the fourth state legislator to take a job with the high-paying nonprofit organization that lobbies on behalf of biotechnology companies in the state.

In 2020, Robert Coughlin, a former Democratic state representative from Dedham, made $907,813 as chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, according to its federal Form 990 for that year. Five other officers of the organization made between $192,000 and $345,000 that year, according to the document.

It’s not clear what Coppinger’s salary will be. His new position is newly created, according to State House News Service.

Coughlin led the council from 2008 until 2021. Before Coughlin, Thomas Finneran, a Democrat, served as head of the council from September 2004 through January 2007, after serving as speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. More recently, former state senator Joseph Boncore, a Democrat, served as chief executive officer, from September 2021 through late 2022.

Coppinger, first elected in 2010, voted for the ROE Act abortion expansion bill in December 2020.

His resignation, which according to State House News Service takes effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 28, necessitates a special election to fill the seat.

His district, the Tenth Suffolk House District, includes West Roxbury and parts of Jamaica Plain in the city of Boston; and Precinct 16 in the town of Brookline. (The portions in the city of Boston are Ward 10, Precinct 9A; Ward 19, Precincts 2, 3, and 8; and Ward 20, Precincts 1-2 and 4-20. Ward 20 covers much of West Roxbury and Roslindale, according to a ward map of the city of Boston. Ward 19 covers a portion of Jamaica Plain. Ward 10 is Mission Hill, which the district includes a sliver of.)


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