BOSTON — Secretary of State William Galvin, who is the longest-serving official elected statewide, has drawn challengers from his own party for the first time in years.
Josh Zakim, a Boston city councilor, filed paperwork Monday signaling his plan to run against Galvin in next year’s Democratic primary, becoming the second contender to challenge Galvin’s decades-long hold on the office. Brian Felder of Swampscott filed paperwork in July to run for the office.
Zakim, a lawyer who has served on the City Council since 2014, has a background in community activism. He says Galvin hasn’t been vocal enough in opposing the policies and actions of Republican President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress.
“We need a new era of leadership on Beacon Hill focused on inclusion instead of exclusion -– on voting rights, on access to government and on protecting us all from bad actors in big business," Zakim, 33, said in an interview. "There is a lot more that can be done with that office."
He cites Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat who has taken on the Trump administration over immigration, gun control and consumer protection.
"If we look at what some of the other constitutional officers are doing, they're using the full powers of their offices to move Massachusetts forward and defend people's rights," he said. "Right now, we need leaders who are going to take action."
Zakim said he wants to wants to work with cities and towns to expand access to early voting and registration. He took a shot at Galvin for not advocating strongly enough for automatic voter registration and other initiatives aimed at improving election turnout.
"This is Massachusetts, not Alabama," he said. "We should be doing everything we can to reduce barriers to voting and make sure that every eligible voter is able to register and participate in the elections."
Zakim's father, Leonard, was the longtime head of the New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League who died of cancer in 1999. Boston's Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge was named in his honor.
The secretary of state oversees the state archives, Historical Commission, the lobbyist division, and the state’s public records. The office also oversees the securities division, which has the power to investigate fraud.
The secretary is elected for a four-year term at a salary of $150,400 per year, with benefits.
Galvin, 67, of Brighton, first won the office in 1994 and has drawn only one Democratic challenger since — in 2006, when he beat John Bonifaz with 82 percent of the vote.
In the 2014 elections, he handily won with 67 percent of the vote over Republican David D'Arcangelo, a city councilor in Malden, and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Daniel Factor.
He recently filed paperwork to seek a seventh term. A spokesperson for his campaign didn't respond to a request for comment.
To be sure, Zakim also has a lot of catching up to do in the money race. Galvin has nearly $664,000 in his campaign account, according to disclosures filed with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for The Salem News and its sister newspapers and websites. Email him at email@example.com.