Back in December, former State Senator Katherine Clark won the special election to replace longtime Congressman Ed Markey in the 5th District, which includes Wakefield. A number of potential challengers have been eyeing the seat, including Anthony Guardia, a former Wakefield School Committee Chairman.
The candidates in this race will face off in a March 4th primary, followed by an April 1 special election day.
The following announcement was provided by the Anthony Guardia campaign on Tuesday morning:
Democrat Anthony Guardia announced his candidacy for the Massachusetts Senate today with a call for a new generation of leadership dedicated to economic opportunity and education reform.
Guardia, former Chairman of the Wakefield School Committee, said the 5th Middlesex Senate District needs fresh ideas to make state government more responsive to taxpayers in Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winchester.
"The Fifth Middlesex District embodies many of the things that make the Commonwealth a great place," said Guardia. "We are proud of our tight-knit communities, good public schools, and our diverse economy that provides opportunities for our residents to earn a living and support their families.”
"But Beacon Hill policies are leaving too many of our citizens behind. Our state's unemployment rate just rose higher than the national average for the first time since the start of the Great Recession. We need to make sure we are helping employers and training programs connect to those unemployed and underemployed, especially workers approaching retirement. We need to make sure we are helping the small businesses in our own communities because they are the engines of our economy. While our schools are among the best in the nation, we still have a lot more to do; including reforming how the state distributes local aid, creating a universal pre-kindergarten program, and ensuring higher education is affordable and not creating unsustainable debt for graduates.”
Guardia, 28, is Director of Development for HomeStart Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps vulnerable seniors, veterans, and families move out of homeless shelters and into permanent housing.
“We need to make sure we take care of those most vulnerable, especially our senior citizens. We need to ensure we support their caregivers and give them a choice in how and where their loved ones are cared for,” said Guardia.
A graduate of Suffolk University and Suffolk University Law School, Guardia also practices law in Melrose and Wakefield and provided pro bono legal services to the Battered Women's Advocacy Program. He is a Corporator of The Savings Bank in Wakefield.
At 23 Guardia was the youngest Chairman of the Wakefield School Committee, where he was an outspoken advocate for equity in state-aid. Guardia believes access to a quality education is critical to the success of generations of families.
“My grandmother emigrated from Italy and was a union seamstress. My father is the first in his family to graduate from college and was able to buy the family home in Malden. At sixteen, my mother emigrated from Italy, she would be the first in her family to graduate high school. Today she is an Assistant Vice President at a local bank in Stoneham. My family’s story is a beautiful story of the American Dream. Their example leaves me with a true respect for just what one generation can do for the next through hard work, saving, and a quality education.”
The special primary election will be held Tuesday, March 4, 2014, and the general election is April 1. The District includes Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield and part of Winchester. The seat was last held by Clark, who was elected to Congress last year. For more information on the Guardia Campaign for State Senate, see www.anthonyguardia.com