(WJAR) — After the departure of the long-time Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a successor was elected on Wednesday.
Rep. Ron Mariano of Quincy was elected the new speaker.
Mariano is a longtime elected official who has served as majority leader. He did not face a challenger for the position.
DeLeo resigned to negotiate a job at Northeastern University, his alma mater. He spent a record 12-years in the post.
Here is a statement from Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford on the election of the new speaker:
Throughout his nearly 30-year career as a legislator, Speaker DeLeo has been instrumental in the passage of landmark healthcare, gun control, and civil rights legislation, leaving an enduring legacy on the Massachusetts House. Today, Representatives put their support behind a new Speaker: Ron Mariano. In the weeks, months, and years ahead we’ll face many challenges--COVID and our recovery, healthcare, and climate change to name just a few. Speaker Mariano has led on these issues throughout his career as Representative and Majority Leader. I have no doubt he’ll use his broad experience and history of service to unite our Commonwealth and face these challenges head on.
Mariano said after his election Wednesday that the state's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be his first priority.
Some of the other issues he plans to address are the lack of affordable housing in the state, controlling rising pharmaceutical prices, improving public transportation, strengthening community hospitals, and investing in offshore wind and high-speed internet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.