scorecardresearch Skip to main content

State Senator Lydia Edwards says she will keep East Boston council seat through the end of April

Lydia Edwards, the newly elected state Senator and East Boston city councilor, will hold both positions through the end of April, saying Friday it will help ensure she “gracefully exits” the council seat she’s held since 2018.

Edwards, who as a councilor represents East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End, said she submitted her resignation, effective April 30, on Friday, a day after she was sworn in as the Senate’s newest member.

Edwards, 41, won a special election for the First Suffolk and Middlesex race on Jan. 11, becoming the first woman and first person of color to hold the seat and the only Black member of the current Senate. With no Republican on the ballot, she was virtually guaranteed to win the seat four weeks prior when she topped a Revere School Committee member in the Democratic primary to represent a district that stretches from Cambridge and Beacon Hill through East Boston to Winthrop and Revere.

By filing her resignation letter, it allows the city clerk to file an order calling for a special election to replace Edwards, who was reelected to the post in November. Her current council term runs until January 2024.


“Edwards is honoring the commitment she made during her successful Senate campaign to gracefully exit her council seat if she were to become a Senator while ensuring a smooth transition for residents of the council district,” her Senate campaign said in a statement Friday.

State legislators are not barred from simultaneously holding a municipal position, and some have held dual roles. Jessica Ann Giannino, a first-term state representative from Revere, served on the city’s council throughout last year, her first in the State House. Fellow freshman state Representative Orlando Ramos also served out the remaining year of his Springfield City Council term last year.


But it’s rare for more high-profile positions in the Senate, whose members represent 175,000 people, and the Boston City Council, the city’s 13-member legislative body. Edwards’s district includes roughly 70,000 people, many of whom she now also represents in the Senate.

Senator Adam Gomez, for example, resigned from his seat on the Springfield City Council roughly a month after being sworn into his first term as senator last year, saying the residents of his ward “deserve someone who can serve them fully.

A statement released by Edwards’s campaign on Friday said at least two Boston city councilors have held “local and state office” at the same time, a reference to fellow East Boston Democrat and former Senate President Robert Travaglini, who held both roles in 1993, and John Nucci, who served as a city councilor and the clerk-magistrate of the Suffolk County Criminal Superior Court in 1995.

Boston City Council President Ed Flynn said Friday city residents “would greatly benefit from [Edwards’s] continued leadership and guidance.”

“As a woman of color, an experienced attorney and city councilor, her voice and leadership are needed in Boston at this time,” Flynn said.

By remaining in both seats until April 30, Edwards could also continue taking her $103,500-a-year council salary. Her Senate seat carries a base salary of $70,530 a year, though senators typically earn more with assignments as a committee chairperson or other leadership roles.

Joel Wool, a spokesman for Edwards, said collecting both salaries for three months was “not a motivation” in the timing of her resignation.


“The senator and councilor is setting up her office to transition smoothly to the next district councilor,” Wool said. “She intends to fully represent the district for this short interim period.”

Given the timing of her election to the Senate, Edwards will have to run again for the seat this fall as part of the state’s regularly scheduled elections.

Danny McDonald of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Matt Stout can be reached at Follow him @mattpstout.