Kerrigan, Duff to Run for MassDems Chair

There’s a good chance the MassDems will soon have an LGBT leader.

In an email to State Committee Members today, former Lt. Gov. candidate Steve Kerrigan announced that he would run to succeed Sen. Tom McGee as Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. McGee said last night that he would not seek reelection.

Kerrigan will compete against Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff, who has been working for weeks to built support amongst State Committee Members. Duff will make her official announcement within the next few days, I’m told.  Duff is a lesbian, Kerrigan is gay.

A small handful of other candidates are said to be mulling a bid for the thankless, but well-paid gig, according to the Globe.

Below is the email Kerrigan sent this afternoon. I have redacted Kerrigan’s telephone number and email address.



The Democratic Party has always stood proudly for equality of opportunity throughout our Commonwealth and nation, through times of great progress and dire challenge. We are the party that has restored a damaged economy, expanded health care access for millions, championed civil rights for all, protected the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, won safeguards and fair wages for working people, provided high quality education and a better future for all our children.

Today, I’m asking you to join me in taking our party to the next level as Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

I have always identified with and vigorously supported the principles and progressive values of the Democratic Party. They were formed in my upbringing as the son of a Mass Electric lineman and elementary school secretary in Lancaster, forged in my years of work for Senator Ted Kennedy, and showcased proudly when I served as CEO of the 2012 Democratic National Convention and oversaw President Obama’s inaugurals in 2009 and 2013.

As most of you know, there is nothing like a campaign to fully test one’s beliefs and ideals.

In 2014, I had the great honor and privilege of serving as our party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Traveling our state for nearly two years and meeting the great people of this Commonwealth reinforced in me – more than ever – the need for bold, energetic Democratic leadership to bring opportunity and prosperity to all.

It is with that deep and abiding conviction in the progressive values of our party and the belief that I possess the skills and experience to take it to new heights, that I announce my candidacy for Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

As Chairman, I will ensure we have best-in-the-nation infrastructure, organizing every precinct and community in the Commonwealth, not just in election years, but 365 days every year, with the goal of building a broad and diverse party through increased participation and engagement.

In addition, I believe it is imperative that we work to restore connections between the party and our communities. We will harness party resources to serve people and communities in need, have the party act as convener for constituent groups with shared interests, and increase outreach efforts to communities of color, millennials and other growing constituencies.

And, I will build on the work done by Chairman McGee, to recruit and assist the very best Democratic candidates at all levels of government and travel the Commonwealth to listen to and engage with those at the grassroots level.

There is much work to be done. But we will be building on the strong foundations of those who have come before us. My parents taught me many years ago that, when you have experience, skills, and an ability to make a difference, you have an obligation to do so. I know that, as Chairman, I can make a difference in the future of our Democratic party and, with all of you, in the lives of the people of Massachusetts.

I will be reaching out to members of the State Committee in the coming days. I look forward to hearing your ideas and hopes about the future of our party. You can always reach me at (617) 2XX-XXXX or via email at

Together, we can build a party we can all be proud of and one which will continue to best advance the progressive, Democratic values we hold so dear.


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