Jim Lyons, a former state representative from Andover, was elected chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party Thursday night.
Lyons, who succeeds Kirsten Hughes, said in a statement he was “humbled by the trust placed in me by my fellow members of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee, and look forward to working with them in the years ahead to grow and unify our Party and secure victory in 2020.”
After four terms in the state Legislature, Lyons was defeated in November by Tram Nguyen, a 32-year-old Democrat and first-time candidate.
A statement from the MassGOP said Lyons won the election 47-30. Lyons, in his statement, thanked Brent Andersen, the Massachusetts Republican Party treasurer, for “running a strong race and offering compelling ideas for our Party’s future.”
He also thanked Hughes “for her tremendous record of service” to the party and the state, citing her work “supporting the election and re-election of Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito and growth among our legislative caucus on Beacon Hill.”
“Over the next two years, I look forward to working with all Republicans to build on this foundation and take our efforts to the next level,” he said in the statement.
During his legislative career, Lyons was known as Beacon Hill’s leading abortion opponent and had spearheaded an unsuccessful effort to amend the state Constitution to block state money from funding abortions for low-income women. As a result, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts made Nguyen’s campaign its top legislative priority.
He was also one of the initial petitioners who put Question 3 on November’s ballot to repeal the law protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places.
Lyons has said he believed transgender people would continue to be protected under other civil rights laws and that this particular law merely stretched their access — particularly in bathrooms — beyond a reasonable boundary.