The Landscape

Former Pittsfield state Senator Ben Downing is running for Governor. The 39-year-old vice president of New Market Development for Nexamp launched his campaign this morning, saying he wants to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts. Downing is the second Democrat to jump into the 2022 race following Harvard University professor Danielle Allen’s exploratory committee announcement in December. 

Meanwhile, the field of candidates vying to be the next Mayor of Boston is growing. John Barros, the chief of economic development for the Walsh administration and 2013 candidate for Mayor, and state representative and emergency room doctor, Jon Santiago are both anticipated to enter the race this week joining, declared candidates Boston City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu; and Dorchester resident Dana Depelteau. With the vote to confirm Mayor Walsh as the next Secretary of Labor scheduled for this week, the next chapter of Boston will begin as City Council President Kim Janey takes the historic step into the role of acting Mayor, making her the first woman and African American to lead Boston. 

At the State House, Senate President Karen Spilka will lead her chamber in a rules debate on Thursday. In addition to increasing transparency, the Senate will introduce mandatory training on implicit bias and bystander intervention. Included in the draft rules are the three new joint committees, Advanced Information Technology the Internet & Cybersecurity; COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management; and Racial Equity, Civil Rights & Inclusion. Last week, the House announced their rules debate will be delayed until July. 

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