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Endorsements pile up for Governor's Council challenger

UPDATED April 16: Seven state officials, including Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), and one Harvard legal scholar, have endorsed Mara Dolan, who is challenging incumbent Marilyn Petitto Devaney for a seat on the Governor's Council.  Mara Dolan            Mara Dolan

Devaney, who has held the seat since 1999, has not responded to requests for comment dating from February and provide list of endorsements.

Endorsements supporting Dolan, a Concord resident, include Lawrence Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor of Constitutional Law Emeritus at Harvard; state Auditor Diana DiZoglio; Rep. Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), Rep. Michelle L. Ciccolo (D-Lexington, Rep. John J. Lawn Jr. (D-Watertown), Sen. James B. Eldridge (D-Marlborough); Rep. Dave Rogers (D-Arlington, etc.) and Friedman.

Dolan is running for District 3 of the council, whose eight members (one vacant) advise Gov. Healy about a variety of matters, described here >>

She told YourArlington that she she seeks to represent Arlington and that "the endorsements show the strength of my candidacy."

Rep. Dave Rogers, Democrat of Arlington/North Cambridge, added his endoresement April 16. "Mara Dolan has long been a forceful advocate for racial and social justice, and she will continue that work with distinction on the Governor’s Council. It’s time to elect the first public defender to the Governor’s Council, and I am proud to give her my full support,” he said in a news release.

Rogers is the chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education and represents the 24th Middlesex District, consisting of Arlington’s precincts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12; Belmont and Cambridge’s Ward 11, Precincts 1 and 3.

“Rep. Rogers’s leadership to make higher education more accessible to underserved communities is exactly what we need to help address the underlying issues that lead to involvement in our court system,” said Dolan in the release. “It is precisely that kind of leadership that we need to make the Commonwealth work better for all. I am very proud and grateful to have his support.”

Lehigh column

Globe political columnist Scott Lehigh in "The Primary Source," a Feb. 21 newsletter, agreed. Under the headline "A HOT BATTLE FOR GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL," Lehigh wrote: "Campaigns for the Massachusetts Governor’s Council, which approves judicial appointments, are usually low-key affairs.

"But the primary rematch between longtime District 3 councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney and challenger Mara Dolan is shaping up to be quite the contest.

"Dolan, an attorney and public defender who came close to unseating the cranky, outburst-prone Devaney two years ago, has lined up an impressive list of endorsements.

"The question: Will Devaney decide that discretion is the better part of valor and call it a career rather than risk a humiliating defeat in the Sept. 3 primary?"

Other state officials have endorsed Dolan. Those listed above are the ones YourArlington has received.

In her Feb. 14 endorsement, Friedman wrote that Dolan "will bring her experience as a public defender along with her intelligence, her compassion and her ability to listen and work with others; all critical skills necessary to ensure quality and fairness in our criminal justice system. Mara Dolan has my full support.”

Friedman represents the 4th Middlesex District in the state Senate, which includes Woburn and the towns of Arlington, Billerica and Burlington and the Town of Lexington, Precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7. She serves as chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and as chair of the Special Joint Committee on Initiative Petitions.

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This fact-based news summary, which includes opinion, was published Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. It was updated April 16, to add Rogers's endorsement.

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