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Former Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons declared her candidacy for Anthony D. Galluccio’s former State Senate seat last Friday, becoming the second Cambridge City Councillor to join the ten-candidate race.
Simmons will face fellow City Councillor Marjorie C. Decker and six other Democrats in a primary on April 13, followed by a general election on May 11.
“Was I planning on running for Senate? No,” Simmons said in an interview with The Crimson yesterday. “No one could have foreseen that the Senate seat would become vacant.”
Simmons said that upon the urging of her friends, she decided to run for the seat as an “opportunity to do good.”
“I look at the terrain, and I see a winnable race,” said Simmons, who was the nation’s first openly lesbian African-American mayor.
Simmons’ campaign manager Neal Alpert has created a Facebook fan page for his boss, and he said at the time of yesterday’s interview that he hoped to unveil a campaign Web site that night and more campaign literature in the weeks to come.
But Simmons said she is most focused on face-to-face campaigning, emphasizing her desire to interact with citizens who do not know her in the further reaches of the Senate district, which includes parts of Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Saugus, and Somerville.
“There is no second place to direct voter contact,” Simmons said.
She is also planning to campaign in Cambridge, which is home to two City Councillors and a local lawyer who are among the candidates vying for the State Senate seat, according to Alpert.
“I think if it was just one person running from Cambridge, they would probably feel they have a lock on Cambridge, whereas now the candidates have to work that much harder,” Alpert said.
“Both of the [City Councillors] running are really popular in Cambridge,” Cambridge resident Eva Kirilova ’11 said. “It might be a little problematic for the citizens.”
Simmons will be competing for the seat left vacant by Galluccio, who resigned from the Senate in early January after he was sentenced to a year in jail. Galluccio had failed a series of breathalyzer tests less than three days after his probation for an October hit-and-run accident in Cambridge.
Before he joined the Mass. Senate in 2007 by special election—after Jarrett T. Barrios ’90 resigned to run a healthcare company—Galluccio served as Cambridge’s mayor from 2000 to 2001. At 32, he was the city’s youngest mayor since 1940.
—Staff writer Julie M. Zauzmer can be reached at email@example.com.
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