The longest-serving Republican in the state Senate is running for mayor of Weymouth.

Senator Robert Hedlund, who has held the South Shore seat since 1995, said Tuesday that he will challenge the city’s sitting chief executive, Democrat Susan Kay.

Hedlund, planning a June 4 official kickoff, said he wanted to work on issues like the development of SouthField at the former site of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

“There’s just a lot of issues that I’ve watched here in the town that I live in that need to be addressed,” he said.

Kay said Hedlund gave her a “courtesy call” to apprise her of his plans.


The chairman of the School Committee, Sean Guilfoyle, had already announced that he will seek the seat.

If Hedlund wins, that would leave a vacancy in one of the six Senate seats Republicans currently hold. A special election would probably be held to pick Hedlund’s successor.

He described himself “a little bit melancholy and a little bit sad” at the prospect of leaving the small band of Republicans in the Senate. Democrats control both houses of the Legislature.

Because regular legislative elections will not take place until 2016, Hedlund would not have to give up his seat to run for mayor. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Weymouth once before, in 1999.

Hedlund, 53, initially won the Senate post in 1990, but lost his reelection bid in 1992. He won the seat back two years later.

Jim O’Sullivan
can be reached at jim.osullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.