On March 4, Charlestown resident Dan Ryan easily won the Democratic Nomination for the Second Suffolk District State Representative seat during a special election. With no Republican challenger Ryan will head into the General Election unopposed.
District-wide Ryan trounced the opposition and topped the ticket with 2,290 votes. Finishing second to Ryan was Chelsea’s Roy Avellaneda who was over a thousand votes behind with 1,160. Charlestown’s Chris Remmes rounded out the election with only 438.
The Chelsea Record caught up with Ryan on the campaign trail this week for a quick Q&A.
Q: You won convincingly on March 4, how do you feel about the outpouring of support in the District?
A: Our numbers were strong throughout the district. But, there is still plenty of work to be done. With three good candidates on the ballot in maybe the shortest window of any race in State history you just can’t reach everyone you want to. I haven’t stopped campaigning though. I will reach those folks that I need to.
Q: You ran against a popular Chelsea candidate, how do you plan on picking up support in Chelsea and bridge the gap between the two communities?
A: Roy and I have known each other for quite some time, I intend to work with him on issues that he and his supporters campaigned on. I also had a foothold of support in Chelsea that I will nurture over time. Again, it goes back to the type of race it was. There was not time to build large numbers outside of my base. Campaigning and governing are very different things. My supporters in Chelsea did exactly what we needed them do with the faith that I will be there for Chelsea on the government end. That is exactly what I intend to do moving forward.
Q: With no Republican challenger for the General Election, have you slowed down you campaign or are you still going full steam ahead?
A: Yes, still campaigning. I haven’t stopped. I was in the campaign office last Wednesday morning. I was taking down signs and trying to answer as many texts and emails as possible. I have already submitted enough signatures to get on the ballot in September. I am campaigning every night and on weekends. The only difference is I went back to my regular job. Working 9-5 limits what I can do during the day, which is frustrating. I like to campaign day and night.
Q: It seems at this point the General Election is a formality so once at the State House what are some of the programs you hope to support in the neighborhoods you represent?
A: I never looked at the general as a formality. We built a great team. Even great teams need practice. Every election is a different test. We intend to pull votes on April 1st like any other election. As I transition to the State House, I will focus on what got me there. I have a long history with non-profits in both Charlestown and Chelsea. I intend to visit as many of these entities in my new role to see how the State Government can play a role. I’m also getting my hands around the casino bill. Chelsea and Charlestown will be dramatically affected by either proposed site. I need to be a position to best advocate for these neighborhoods.
Q: You have ran for City Council and were considering a second run if Councilor Sal LaMattina had won the Register of Probate seat. How does it feel to finally hold elected office? Has the fulfilled a lifelong dream of public service?
Q: It still really hasn’t sunk in. It probably won’t until I actually take the oath. It was never really a lifelong goal to hold office. I just took each opportunity as they came. When Sal declared for Probate I decided then to be ready for whatever came next. Whether it was for me or for someone else I just knew that I wanted to be ready and more importantly I wanted my community to be ready to answer the call.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: I just want to thank the voters and volunteers from all three camps who braved the cold and conditions over the past two months. They did both neighborhoods proud. I especially want to thank Roy and Chris for running great issues oriented campaigns. There was no blue print for this type of race and they both ran great campaigns. I looked forward to working with them.