The special election to fill the 9th Suffolk District state representative seat recently vacated by Jon Santiago has been scheduled, with the primary set for May 2, followed by the final election on May 30.
To date, three candidates have pulled papers for the race, including a Dorchester Democrat, Brian Kearney, and two South End Democrats, Amparo “Chary” Ortiz, a longtime BU School of Public Health administrator; and John Moran, described by The Boston Globe as a “consultant and community advocate” who most recently worked for the Cambridge biotech company, BioGen.
On Moran’s campaign website (johnmoran9.com), he describes some of his top priorities, if elected, as increasing opportunities for affordable home-ownership and rentals; combating the pervasive issues of homelessness and addiction in the district; and advocating for “a fair shot for all residents so that no matter your zip code in the district you can send your children to a good school, access green spaces and parks, take public transportation that actually gets you to where you’re going, start and strengthen your small business, and feel safe and able to raise your family in the district.”
Moran, 24-year resident of the South End who lives on Waltham Street with his partner, Michael, and their dog, Edna, announced his candidacy during an event on the morning of Thursday, March 9, at Titus Sparrow Park.
Jonathan Alves, another South End resident, as well as vice president of the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association, had also filed nomination papers but announced Monday, March 13, that he was dropping out of the race.
“It’s been inspiring over the last several weeks to receive so much encouragement from my community to run for the open seat, but after very serious consideration, I have decided that now is not the right time for me to run given several personal and professional commitments,” Alves wrote. “My hope is that whoever wins will continue in Jon Santiago’s example of principled and pragmatic leadership.”
Added Alves: “Meanwhile, I will continue to be a neighborhood advocate on issues of housing, public health (Mass/Cass), and transportation and, perhaps, in the future, a candidate for elected office.”
Santiago, a South End resident, recently stepped down as state representative for the 9th Suffolk District – a role he had served in since 2018 – after Gov. Maura Healey appointed him as the state’s first-ever Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services.