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Briefings: Gomez Debuts New Staffers to Scale a Challenging Beacon Hill…

UPDATED 9/19/23 10:37: For a correction. An earlier version of this post misstated Silver’s prior role working for Anne Gobi.

Silver Holden Gongora

Derek Silver, Madeleine Holden & Chris Gongora sign on with Gomez to conquer a frigid, airless Everest-like Beacon Hill. (courtesy Office of Sen. Gomez)

Springfield Senator Adam Gomez unveiled new State House staff, formally filling several key posts that had become vacant. The sophomore lawmaker in Beacon Hill’s upper chamber represents nearly all of his hometown as well as parts of Chicopee. Consequently, he has a legislative agenda as large as his constituent services docket, underscoring the role of his staff in Boston.

Leading Gomez’s office now as chief of staff is Derek Silver, who most recently worked for Anne Gobi. Gobi recently resigned from the Senate to become Governor Maura Healey’s director of rural affairs. Also announced today were Gomez’s new legislative director Madeleine Holden and communications director Chris Gongora.

The senator’s office announced the new staff in a release that went out Monday.

The senator’s new staff in Boston arrives at a pivotal time for the legislature. Leadership in both chambers have faced criticism for the session’s sluggish legislative pace. Any uptick could privilege the priorities of lawmakers who can pull the levers of government most effectively.

Adam Gomez

Gomez in January before legislative movement on Beacon Hill seemingly went on ice. (WMP&I)

Moreover, due to tremendous turnover in the last four years, Gomez is now third in seniority out of the 413’s senators. That may be high in local terms, but less so in the over all chamber.

However, several of his new staffers are familiar with the region’s needs.

Silver, a graduate of UMass-Boston and the University of Colorado, had served as Gobi’s communications and legislative director. While the district she vacated no longer includes much of the four western counties, it once went as far as west of Palmer. The needs of that rural district differ greatly from an urban constituency like Gomez’s. However, both share the feeling of state neglect and the challenges of economic development in the modern era.

Gongora, the new comms director, had been US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Western Mass director until recently. According to the release, after graduating from Holyoke Community College, he had been a 911 dispatcher in Springfield and a social worker.

Rounding out Gomez’s senior staff is Holden, the legislative director. She had served as a legislative aide for David Linsky, a state rep from Natick. A 2021 Lafayette College graduate, the release states she had conducted academic research “regarding the relationship between gender and candidate recruitment for public office.”

Gomez’s district staff had a reshuffle last year. However, in an email, Gongora confirmed that there were no changes to that part of the senator’s staff.