Two Beacon Hill residents have announced their candidacies as Democrats in the race for State Rep. Marty Walz’s soon-to-be vacated seat.
Jay Livingstone and Nils Tracy will both run for the 8th Suffolk District, which includes the Back Bay and portions of Beacon Hill, the West End and Cambridge. The primary election takes place on May 28 and the special election on June 25, according to Secretary of State William Galvin. (To qualify for the ballot, eligible candidates must submit 150 signatures to local election clerks by April 16, and the last day to file certified nomination papers with the secretary of the Commonwealth is April 23, Galvin said).
A graduate of the University of Connecticut and George Washington University Law School, Livingstone is an employment-discrimination and criminal-defense attorney, as well as an adjunct professor at Northeastern Law School. He previously worked as an assistant attorney general in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and assistant district attorney for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
Livingstone has also served as a lead organizer for independent progressive candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick, Mac D’Alessandro and Suzanne Lee. He is a leadership member of Boston’s Ward 5 Democratic Committee, as well as a board member of the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) and clerk of its Zoning and Licensing Committee.
“For years, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with residents of each of this district’s neighborhoods and worked side-by-side with some of the most committed community leaders in the area,” Livingstone said in a press release. “I’m excited to take this step to provide the independent progressive leadership the residents of this district deserve.”
Livingstone has recruited Hillary Clinton fundraiser Frances Burke as chair of his campaign.
“Jay Livingstone will run a responsive, independent-minded, people-focused campaign,” Burke said in a press release. “He is highlighting inclusiveness, sensible economic policy with accountability and gender equity. It is an honor for me to chair Jay Livingstone’s campaign to be our next State Representative.”
Tracy, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio, a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Boston College, works as a real estate agent for Goodrich Residential of Boston.
Tracy previously worked in the non-profit sector as a research analyst at the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, a Cambridge-based, self-described “independent nonpartisan 501(c)(3) research organization dedicated to improving the regulation of U.S. capital markets,” as well as at Recirculating Farms Coalition, a New Orleans-based collaborative group of farmers, educators, non-profits and other parties committed to building local sources of healthy, accessible food.
Tracy has volunteered on campaigns for local Democrats and President Barack Obama, and during school, interned with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee headed by Sen. Patrick Leahy. He is also a member of the BHCA and has worked on increasing safety on the Boston Common, according to a Web site announcing his candidacy.
“I am running because I want to serve the downtown neighborhoods I call home,” Tracy wrote. “We have unique needs and challenges. We have to deal with rent inflation driving away small business and the needs of the large student population co-existing with permanent residents. Then there are the critical issues of access to fresh healthy food, making our urban parks safer and keeping public transportation affordable.”
Tracy added, “I am passionate about the causes of social justice and bipartisanship. I will always put results that help my district over partisanship.”
Meanwhile, Walz, who has served as state representative since 2005, will step down from the seat at the end of this week to assume the role of president and chief executive officer of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM).