Former Revere mayor Dan Rizzo, who lost his bid for a second term in a recount by 108 votes last month, will run for the state Senate post in the First Suffolk and Middlesex District formerly held by Anthony Petruccelli.
Petruccelli, an East Boston Democrat who was first elected in 2007, resigned this month to accept a post at a Boston lobbying firm.
Rizzo, who spent much of his four-year term as mayor working to bring a casino to Revere, joins an already crowded race to succeed Petruccelli. Other candidates include Winthrop Housing Authority member Joseph Boncore; Revere City Councilor Steven Morabito; state Representative Jay Livingstone; and East Boston’s Diana Hwang and Lydia Edwards. The primary will be held on April 12, and the top two vote-getters will advance to a special election on May 10.
The state Senate district includes Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, other sections of Boston, and a part of Cambridge.
No candidate from Revere has won the seat since Fran Doris, who served from 1980 until 1990.
Rizzo, 56, was a Revere city councilor for 12 years before becoming mayor in 2012. He also served in the Navy for six years. After losing the recount to now-Mayor Brian Arrigo, he returned to run an insurance agency in the city.
Rizzo, who oversaw a $160 million annual budget in Revere, said that he would focus on the opioid epidemic, maintaining local aid to cities, improving public transportation and infrastructure, and creating more affordable housing for homeless veterans if elected senator.
“Veterans’ homelessness is a huge issue,” he said. “To me, it’s unconscionable that veterans would serve our country, go overseas, put their lives on the line, and then come home and find themselves homeless.”
Rizzo said his major accomplishments during his four years as mayor — such as adding 19 officers to the Police Department, negotiating eight union contracts, and building a $45 million elementary school (of which 80 percent was subsidized by the state) — portend a “people first” candidate.
“I would do this job the same way that I’ve done for the last 16 years in Revere, and that’s with passion, with a strong work ethic, and with a priority in putting people first,” Rizzo said.
“Because at the end of the day, no matter what elected office you hold, it’s about prioritizing people and contributing to a quality of life that people expect and deserve.”