Marty Walsh (politician)

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Marty Walsh
Marty Walsh.jpg
54th Mayor of Boston
Assumed office
January 6, 2014[1]
Preceded by Thomas Menino
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 13th Suffolk district
In office
April 12, 1997 – January 3, 2014
Preceded by James Brett
Succeeded by Daniel J. Hunt
Personal details
Born Martin Joseph Walsh
(1967-04-10) April 10, 1967 (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Dorchester, Boston
Alma mater Boston College
Profession Politician
Religion Roman Catholic[2]

Martin Joseph "Marty" Walsh (born April 10, 1967) is an American politician from Boston, Massachusetts. A Democrat, he is the 54th and current Mayor of Boston, in office since 2014. He previously served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving from 1997 until 2014 and representing the Thirteenth Suffolk district.

Early life

Walsh was born to John Walsh, an Irish American originally from Callowfeenish, a townland near Carna, County Galway, and Mary (née O'Malley), also from Ireland.[3] The couple emigrated to the United States in the 1950s,[4] and gave birth to Marty in 1967.

Walsh grew up in the Savin Hill area of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. He was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma at age 7, forcing him to miss most of second and third grade, and repeat fifth grade. At age 11, after going through years of chemotherapy, a scan revealed no traces of the cancer.[5] He went to high school at The Newman School and received a bachelor's degree from Boston College.[6]

Political career

Labor positions

Walsh joined the Laborers Local 223 union at age 21 and served as the union's president until his election to the Mayoralty of Boston.[7]

He was elected secretary-treasurer and general agent of the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, a union umbrella group, in the fall of 2010. In 2011, Walsh was named head of the Boston Building Trades, a position that came with a $175,000 yearly salary.[8] Walsh resigned his post when he announced he was running for Mayor in 2013.[9]

State representative

Walsh was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1997. He represented the Thirteenth district of Suffolk County, which includes Dorchester and one precinct in Quincy.[10] He was the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, and served as a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus.[11] During his tenure he also served as the co-chair for the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform.[12]

On February 13, 2013, Walsh introduced a bill to have The Modern Lovers song '‘Roadrunner’' be named the official rock song of Massachusetts.[13] The song's writer, Jonathan Richman, came out against this saying, “I don’t think the song is good enough to be a Massachusetts song of any kind.”[14]

2013 mayoral election

In April 2013, Walsh announced he would run for Mayor of Boston in the 2013 mayoral election.[15] He resigned the Trades Council position in April 2013 after formally announcing his bid for mayor.[16]

Walsh campaigned on the promise to champion a 24-hour Boston, including extending the hours of operation of the "T" into the night.[17] The MBTA answers to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which is a state and not city agency, but Walsh campaigned on the promise to extend MBTA service thanks to his tenure in the state house. "As a 16-year veteran of the House," he said, "I am uniquely qualified to negotiate transportation plans with the legislature."[18]

On September 24, 2013, Walsh received a plurality of the vote, among twelve candidates in the mayoral preliminary election with 18.4% of the vote.[19] As a result, he advanced to the general election on November 5, 2013, facing second place vote-getter, Boston City Councilor John R. Connolly, who received 17.2% of the vote.[19] Walsh defeated Connolly in the general election on November 5, 2013, with 51.5% of the vote, compared to Connolly's 48.1%.[20]

Personal life

Walsh continues to reside in Dorchester, living separately from long-time girlfriend Lorrie Higgins, who resides a few blocks away.[21] He is a recovering alcoholic, with eighteen years of continuous recovery in a twelve-step program.[22]

Walsh has been a season ticket holder of American football's New England Patriots since franchise owner Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.[23]

See also


  2. "Early struggles gave Martin Walsh a solid underpinning". Retrieved 23 Nov 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Marty Walsh cancer battle,; accessed April 22, 2014.
  6. "Member Profile - Martin J. Walsh". Retrieved 2013-09-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Ryan, Andrew (2013-09-25). "Path carries Martin Walsh closer to his dream". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Milton, Valencia (2015-09-30). "Teamsters face charges over Top Chef harassment". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-09-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Dumcius, Gintautas (2010-12-01). "Walsh to take key union post; plans to keep House seat". Dorchester Reporter. Retrieved 2013-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Representative Marty Walsh wants ‘Roadrunner’ named official rock song of Massachusetts",, 11 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013
  15. "Rep. Walsh announces run for Boston mayor". Wicked Local. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2013-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Ryan, Andrew (2013-04-10). "State Representative Martin J. Walsh formally announces bid for mayor of Boston". Retrieved 2013-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Holding Mayor-elect Marty Walsh to his promise to extend night service on the MBTA". Boston Globe. 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Boston mayoral candidates respond to questions about MBTA". Boston Globe. 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2013-11-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 "City of Boston, Preliminary Municipal Election, September 24, 2013" (PDF). City of Boston Elections Department.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Boston Municipal Election, November 5, 2013 - Mayor". City of Boston Elections Department.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Profile of Mayor-elect Walsh, November 7, 2013.
  22. In race for Boston mayor, former addicts back candidate with a past,; accessed April 22, 2014.
  23. "Robert Kraft likes idea of draft in Boston". 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Menino
Mayor of Boston
January 6, 2014 - present
Succeeded by