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October 19, 2013

McGee takes reins of state Democratic Party

State Sen. Thomas McGee became the new chairman of the state Democratic Party on Thursday night after his unanimous election by the state committee.

“I put my name in, and I ended up being the only candidate,” McGee said yesterday, adding that he was humbled by his election. He has served on the Democratic State Committee for more than 30 years.

“I was honored and excited for the opportunity to work in a larger role with the party,” he said.

McGee, a Lynn Democrat, also represents Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynnfield, Nahant and Saugus. He served four terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2002. He co-chairs the Joint Committee on Transportation and is a member of the Ways and Means Committee.

“During the election last night, I was thinking about my dad,” McGee said.

His father, the late Thomas W. McGee, was a longtime state representative who served as speaker of the House from 1975 to 1984. McGee said his father served many years as a member of the Democratic National Committee, as well as a member of the state committee.

He recalled his father’s long years of service and how he helped so many.

McGee succeeds John Walsh, who is stepping down after six years to become executive director of Gov. Deval Patrick’s political committee and Together PAC.

“As Democrats, we’re witnessing a national Republican Party attempt to turn back the clock on our core values for which we battled over generations: affordable health care, Social Security, Medicare, women’s rights, civil rights, LGBT rights and organized labor,” McGee said.

“So, when John Walsh announced he was stepping down ... I decided to do my part to preserve and protect the basic principles that bind us together as Democrats.”

The challenge moving forward will be the upcoming election year, focusing on “the numerous constitutional offices, as well as the governor’s office next year,” he said. Patrick is not running for a third term.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting year,” McGee said.

Material from State House News Service was used in this report.

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