The Young Democrats of Massachusetts would like to recognize those young Democrats who are running in the upcoming primary election on September 8, 2016. Read up on some of these candidates below!
These biographies are not official endorsements from YDMA. Only candidates who provided a photo and biography are posted to this list.
Running for Representative of the 9th Essex District
Born and raised in Saugus, Jen Migliore exudes pride for her upbringing and her community. Her father, Joseph J. Migliore, has been an active member of Plumber’s Union Local 12 for over two decades and is currently a high school teacher. Her mother, Jill Ann Migliore, is a certified nursing assistant. Jen attended Wellesley College, where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Spanish and American Studies. At Wellesley, Jen’s energetic and hardworking spirit was evident both in her schoolwork and leadership of the Varsity Softball Team– which she led to the conference championship in 2014. Jen has experience in the offices of several established Massachusetts Democrats, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Seth Moulton. As District Representative for Congressman Moulton, Jen reported directly to the people of the Sixth Congressional District, helping them navigate federal agencies. She has enjoyed connecting with the constituents she represents and helping them strengthen their communities. Jen is running to be the Representative for Massachusetts’ 9th Essex District because of her passion for her hometown. She is ready to work with the people of Lynn, Saugus, and Wakefield to revitalize infrastructure, secure educational opportunity for all, protect the environment, and shake up the status quo at the State House every day.
Running for State Senator of the Cape & Islands
Julian Cyr has exceptional experience in public policy, health advocacy, and politics. He is a candidate to represent Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket in the Massachusetts State Senate. Most recently, he was director of policy and regulatory affairs for environmental health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Prior to this post, he was deputy director for government affairs at the Department. Julian has also served on the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth since January 2011 and served as chair in 2013 and 2014. He organized on Governor Patrick and President Obama’s successful re-election campaigns, and worked as a harm-reduction counselor at the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod. Previously, Julian interned at the White House, contributing to green jobs policy and energy efficiency at the Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of the President. He has also worked for the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative. Julian studied public policy and community health at New York University, where he also led undergraduate student government. He is a Cape Cod native and resident of Truro, Massachusetts.
JACK PATRICK LEWIS
Running for Representative of the 7th Middlesex District
Jack Patrick Lewis is a progressive democrat seeking Rep. Sannicandro’s soon to be vacated seat seat in the 7th Middlesex Distritct. Lewis currently leads a local nonprofit for at-risk teens, which provides supportive services through youth empowerment and community education. He formerly served as a minister of a local Unitarian congregation where he led youth on service trips from Guatemala to West Virginia and preached on social and economic justice every chance he could. Lewis has also spent time serving his communities as a substitute Head Start pre-school teacher, working as a habitation assistance for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and working with people recently release from prison to re-enter society. Lewis has dedicated his entire life, both personal and professional, to community advocacy and is looking to take this passion to the legislative level for Ashland and Framingham.
Running for Representative of the 2nd Barnstable District
Aaron Kanzer is a candidate for State Representative in the 2nd Barnstable District. He has formerly held positions at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is also an appointed member of the Barnstable Housing Committee. Aaron has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in economics and political science from Northeastern University.
Running for Representative of the 4th Worcester District
Natalie Higgins is running for State Representative of the 4th Worcester District, encompassing the entirety of the city of Leominster. A lifelong Leominster resident and the first in her family to go to college, Natalie earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009 and in 2014 she earned her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and passed the Massachusetts Bar Exam. For the last ten years, Natalie has worked as an advocate in her community as a teen counselor and community educator, an attorney, and a nonprofit director. She has worked in the executive branch under Governor Patrick and in the legislative branch under (then-Representative) Senator Jennifer Flanagan. Natalie is excited to be a strong advocate for her hometown and make government more accessible to all Leominster residents. You can learn more at electnataliehiggins.com.
Running for Representative of the 3rd Hampshire District
Solomon Goldstein-Rose grew up in Amherst, MA, and served on the local school committee during his 12th grade year at Amherst Regional High School. He has been a lifelong environmental activist, including work in the White House and Congress, and has written statewide climate legislation and led a campaign to pass it. Solomon wants to see more young people run for and get elected to state and national office so that we can work towards the systemic solutions – especially on climate change and education – that our generation and the next generation need.
Running for Representative of the 15th Essex District
Christopher Katsoulis was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and has been living in Methuen since the age of five. As the son of small business owners, Christopher places a high value on work ethic and giving back to the community. Christopher is a graduate of Central Catholic High School where he first recognized the importance of education and public service through his volunteer commitment at Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, Inc. Christopher graduated with honors from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science. Christopher is currently serving in AmeriCorps as a legal advocate at Greater Boston Legal Services and advocates on behalf of disabled individuals, elders, and veterans for their MassHealth, Medicare, and Social Security benefits.
Running for Representative of the 7th Norfolk District
Jason currently serves as the President of the Randolph Town Council. Adams, 27, is serving in his third term on the Council and is a candidate for State Representative in the 7th Norfolk District, covering parts of Milton and Randolph. Despite losing his house in a fire when he was young, and his father a year later, Jason became the first in his family to attend college at UMass Boston. He is currently entering his final year at BC Law School. He can be reached at Jason@votejasonadams.com.
Incumbent Representative of the 16th Worcester District
Representative Dan Donahue is the State Representative of the 16 th Worcester District, comprised mostly of the ‘east-side’ of Worcester, including Quinsigamond Village and much of the Grafton street neighborhood. More so than most, He is truly a product of his district. Born and raised in Worcester, Representative Donahue was raised by a union carpenter and a Worcester Public School teacher. After graduating from Holy Cross in 2009, Dan began working as a Community Outreach Worker for the Juvenile Public Defenders office in Worcester, where he organized trainings and outreach for at-risk youth in the city. Dan then began working as a campaign field staffer for the 2010 Governor’s election, he then worked as the Political Director for Lt. Gov. Tim Murray overseeing the Lt. Gov.’s campaign committee. In 2012 Dan was appointed Director of Policy and Assistant Chief of Staff to the newly elected Mayor of Worcester, Joe Petty. First elected during a special election in 2013 and re-elected to his first full term in 2014, Representative Donahue is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Worcester in a variety of ways.
Representative Donahue represents the 16th Worcester District which consists of precincts 1,2,4 and 5, of ward 5, ward 6, and precincts 1 408 and 5 of ward 8, of the City of Worcester. Representative Donahue serves as a member on the following committees: Labor and Workforce Development, Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Transportation, and House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.
Incumbent Representative of the 1st Suffolk District
State Representative Adrian Madaro of the 1st Suffolk District is a first-generation American and lifelong East Boston resident. Adrian has a deep-rooted commitment to strengthening the community that welcomed his family and shaped his future. As a son of East Boston, Adrian was raised with a deep sense of civic duty and participation. He was first introduced to public service as a student at Boston Latin School when he interned at Boston City Hall for the Chief of Environment and Energy Services. Adrian attended Tufts University, where he earned a Bachelors in Anthropology and Child Development and a Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning. During his time at Tufts he also had the opportunity to expand his government experience by interning for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Washington D.C. Most recently, Adrian served as the Chief of Staff for Representative Carlo Basile. In April of 2015, he was elected to office in a special election to fill the seat of his former boss and predecessor. He has proven himself to be a staunch advocate for the East Boston community on Beacon Hill by working to pass legislation and change policies that directly impact our neighborhood.
Running for Representative of the 7th Norfolk District
Bill graduated from Boston College in 2005, planning to pursue a career in film and television production. However, when Hurricane Katrina struck he felt compelled to act and went to help. What started as a two-week trip to lend a hand in Mississippi turned into a two-year mission to assist under-served communities facing the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in US history. Today, more than ten years later, he serves as Executive Director of NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster and recently concluded a one-year term as interim President and CEO of National VOAD, the association of disaster response nonprofits and voluntary organizations active in disaster recovery in the US.
Over the years, Bill has worked with elected officials at all levels government, emergency management professionals, and a diverse set of community stakeholders to navigate bureaucracy and address critical needs. As a candidate for State Representative for the 7th Norfolk District, Bill brings national credentials, having worked in over 40 cities and towns around the country during their most challenging of days, weeks, and months. Both, Boston College and BC High have recognized his work with alumni awards including BC High’s highest honor, the St. Ignatius Award.
STATE SENATOR ERIC LESSER
Incumbent State Senator of the First Hampden and Hampshire District
Eric P. Lesser was elected to the Massachusetts Senate on November 4, 2014. He represents nine communities in the First Hampden & Hampshire District, proudly serving Western Massachusetts as the youngest member of the State Senate. Senator Lesser has quickly earned a reputation as one of the hardest working public servants in the Commonwealth. During his first year in office, Senator Lesser passed significant new laws related to substance abuse treatment and prevention, job training, and promotion of tourism and the arts. Lesser’s legislative agenda focuses on the fight for greater economic opportunity and quality of life for Western Massachusetts, with initiatives around high-speed rail, a high-tech economy, job training, and innovation in government. Elected at the age of 29, Senator Lesser also spearheads the Senate’s agenda on millennial issues, including technology policy, student debt, and greater youth engagement in public affairs. Senator Lesser holds several leadership positions in the Legislature. He is Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development, Senate Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, and Senate Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus.
Prior to becoming a state Senator, Lesser worked in the Obama White House, first as Special Assistant to Senior Adviser David Axelrod, and later as Director of Strategic Planning for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Lesser began as a young aide on President Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign, traveling to 47 states and six countries with then-Senator Obama and his senior team. Lesser has been described as “the face of the promised Obama political generation” by the New York Times. Lesser has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College. Lesser first became active in politics as a student at Longmeadow High School, where he organized a coalition of students, parents and teachers to fight teacher layoffs and protect public education. Lesser lives in Longmeadow, just blocks from where he grew up, with his wife, Alison, young daughter Rose, and family dog, Cooper.
Running for Representative of the 3rd Worcester District
Kim Maxwell of the 3rd Worcester District is an active member of the Fitchburg community who is an experienced social worker in the city and an entrepreneur. She graduated from Silberman School of Social Work -Hunter College with a Masters of Social Work. She spent 18 months in Korea teaching English at a language school in Seoul. Kim started Fitchburg Naturals in 2014, a non-for-profit aimed at empowering women in our community through events providing education and resources.
Running for Representative of the 1st Essex District
“Born and raised in Newburyport, I now live in Amesbury with my husband and son. I earned degrees from Cornell University and Northeastern University School of Law. I’m a lawyer and community liaison at a local public library. I serve on the Board of the Women’s Bar Association, and I am a member of the Amesbury Cultural Council. In spring 2016, I completed the Emerge Massachusetts campaign training program. Learn more about me at briannarsullivan.com“
Running for Representative of the 7th Suffolk District
“Growing up, I attended Boston Public Schools and charter schools. Upon completion of high school and simultaneously graduating from the Crimson Summer Academy, I continued my education earning my Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University. After graduating college, I entered my professional career as a Case Worker for Federal Inmates assisting those nearing release with securing employment, housing and most importantly, community support. I had the pleasure to work as a Legislative Aide for a Massachusetts State Senator. In that position, I worked to secure funding for programs like Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT), community college reform, and environmentally-friendly organizations. I have also served the community through volunteering at the Probation Department of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court as well as working full time as a professional and raising a child. I’m running because I have the ability to effectively create new and adjust existing policies in efforts to further enrich my community. I look forward to advancing the legacy of my neighborhood as State Representative of the 7th Suffolk District.”