State Rep. Gene O’Flaherty has been a fixture at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration – always giving thoughtful comments and reflecting on the changes he has observed in the City and the nation.
This year, however, O’Flaherty bid the residents of Chelsea – and the celebration organizers – a heartfelt farewell in what might be his last offiical public appearance as the city’s state representative.
O’Flaherty has accepted a position as corporate counsel in the new administration of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and will likely leave his seat by the end of the month – though no date has yet been set in stone.
“This will be my last Martin Luther King celebration as your state representative, but it won’t be my last as a citizen and person,” he said. “I look forward to coming back and celebrating this event with you in the future. It was an honor – one that will never be surpassed in my life – to be your state representative.”
O’Flaherty has represented the 2nd Suffolk District since the late 1990s.
The breakfast, however, has routinely been one of the last public appearances for elected officials moving on to newer things. Last year, former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral made her last public appearance as Sheriff at the Chelsea breakfast before taking a public safety cabinet post in Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration.