Briefings: From Mark a Ballot to Markey a Resume; Lederman Joins Senate Staff…
Days after Jesse Lederman, a three-term at-large city councilor in Springfield, left municipal service, he is back in government. The feds, that is. The former Council President has joined the staff of US Senator Ed Markey as regional director for Western and Central Massachusetts.
Lederman retired from the Council because he had run for mayor last year. Although he placed fourth in the preliminary, which ended his bid, Lederman lost little int eh way of political capital despite challenging the city’s eternal mayor. Rather, the city’s chattering classes immediately began speculating about his next move. That move is a good fit given their history and the open slot in the senator’s office.
“I am thrilled to welcome Jesse to my team as Regional Director,” Markey said in a statement.
“As a lifelong Springfield resident, Jesse understands the issues confronting Western Massachusetts. I am confident that his passion for public health and environmental justice, as well as his dedication to problem-solving and progressive values, will be huge assets to our office and to my constituents in Western Massachusetts,” the senator continued.
Politico’s Massachusetts Playbook first reported Lederman’s hiring.
In retrospect, the appointment of Lederman following the preliminary last September looks almost predictable. The Western Mass position with Markey’s office had been vacant for several months by that point. Its last holder, Kristin Elechko, left to become the director of Governor Maura Healey’s office in the 413. Moreover, Lederman had already worked for Markey once before. Plus, Markey has employed ex-pols before.
Markey came to the Senate by way of a special election in 2013 to fill John Kerry’s seat. Markey defeated fellow Democrat John Lynch in the primary and then Republican Gabriel Gomez in the June general election. Lederman was a campaign staffer during the election. However, Lederman’s environmental activism ensure that he would remain in touch with the senator.
The senator assisted Lederman, other councilors and residents as they pushed back on the proposed biomass plant on Page Boulevard. Lederman returned the favor by becoming of Markey’s most prominent surrogates in the lower Pioneer Valley during the titanic primary between the senator and then-Rep Joe Kennedy, III.
When I ran in 2013, I made a promise to fight for every community in Massachusetts. That’s a promise I’ve kept and one I’m making again. Thank you @JLLederman for your dedicated partnership and support. #StickingWithEd pic.twitter.com/ZV5EMWf3Yx
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) February 21, 2020
Lederman’s new role will take to cities and towns across the 1st and 2nd congressional districts. It is a sprawling brief, but his experience in and around Springfield could prove most useful. Maneuvering the banalities and idiosyncrasies of Hampden County’s urban politics has long vexed many eastern pols.
A former Springfield City Council president who left 36 Court Street with few enemies could prove quite useful for a senator.