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Not the usual faces in state Senate race

A changing East Boston draws new blood to special election

Not the usual faces in state Senate race

FOR DECADES, AN East Boston resident has held the state Senate seat representing the First Suffolk and Middlesex District, which extends north from the neighborhood to Revere and reaches west to sections of Cambridge. Michael LoPresti in the 1970s and 80s. Robert Travaglini in the 1990s and early 2000s. Anthony Petruccelli from 2007 until he resigned earlier this year to take a lobbying job.

A special election to fill the seat now looms less than a month away, but if an Eastie resident is going to continue the tradition, the next senator will likely bring a decidedly untraditional profile to a seat long held by an Italian-American son of the neighborhood.

The two East Boston residents first out of the gate were Diana Hwang, the Houston-born daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, and Lydia Edwards, an African-American lawyer who grew up in a tiny town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

They’re now part of a seven-way scramble in the April 12 Democratic primary. With no Republican in the running, the victor is all but assured of becoming the next senator for an economically and racially diverse district, which includes Winthrop, Revere, East Boston, a chunk of downtown Boston neighborhoods, and a slice of Cambridge.

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Meet The Author

Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

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