Plymouth Senator Resigning to Take Higher Ed Job
10/16/19 9:00 AM
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, OCT. 16, 2019.....A fixture on Beacon Hill for more than two decades, Republican Sen. Viriato deMacedo plans to resign from his elected post to take a job at Bridgewater State University.
In an interview, deMacedo told the News Service that the grind of commuting between Plymouth and Boston for so many years and a desire to work closer to home and spend more time with his family contributed to his decision.
DeMacedo said he would meet Wednesday with Senate President Karen Spilka and plans to officially resign in the next few weeks. He said he did not have a start date yet for his new $99,000-a-year job as director of regional partnerships at the university.
In his new role, deMacedo said he plans to work with chambers of commerce to increase the number of paid internships available to Bridgewater State University students to 1,000, up from 500. The job, he said, gives him an opportunity to exercise his education, health care and economic development skills.
"It's a huge step for me," said deMacedo, a Cape Verdean immigrant and business owner. "It's going to be so easy for me to be an ambassador for them. The beauty for me is I'm still doing the public service stuff."
The senator said he decided after his last election in November 2018 that this would likely be his last term as a senator, and said he hoped to work for another 12 to 15 years. The position he is taking opened up a couple of months ago, he said, and he was offered the job on Friday.
"This position is critical to helping our students, to connecting them to pathways to employment, and in turn helping regional employers to find the talent, resources and programs they need to thrive," Bridgewater State University President Frederick Clark said in a statement. "And there is simply no one who understands southeastern Massachusetts better or is more respected than Senator deMacedo."
While a member of the House and Senate, deMacedo was the Republican point person on fiscal affairs, serving year after year as the ranking GOP member of the Ways and Means committees and as a annual budget negotiator.
After eking out an 11-vote win in 1998 over Plymouth Democrat Joseph Gallitano, deMacedo joined the House in 1999 and embarked on a long string of service in the Legislature, serving eight terms in that branch.
Known by many in the building simply as Vinny, deMacedo forged relationships with Democrats and Republicans, and was able to snag a Senate seat for the GOP after Senate President Therese Murray announced she would not seek reelection in 2014. In that election, he beat former House member and Democrat Matthew Patrick.
Once deMacedo resigns, the Senate will likely adopt an order scheduling a special election to fill his Senate office, presenting a sudden opportunity for candidates to compete for an open seat in the Legislature.
"Outside of my family, there is nothing of which I've been prouder than having the honor to represent first the people of Plymouth, and later of Kingston, Pembroke, Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich as well," deMacedo said in a statement, ticking off the communities in his district.
Sandwich Republican Rep. Randy Hunt is not seeking reelection in 2020, ensuring more change in that area. And without deMacedo, the Senate Republican caucus will shrink to five members, and it could soon get even smaller.
Republican Sen. Don Humason of Westfield is competing to become the mayor of Westfield, with that election set for Nov. 5. In 2013, the GOP caucus in the 40-seat Senate slipped to just three members when Sen. Michael Knapik of Westfield resigned, opening up the seat that Humason eventually filled.
In a statement, deMacedo called constituent services a hallmark of his career, but also pointed to his work on education funding, combating the opioid crisis, and standing up for the safety and health of residents who live near the now-closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
Born in Brava, Cape Verde, deMacedo came to the United States with his parents when he was six months old. He graduated from Silver Lake Regional High School and from King’s College. Since 1991, he has owned and operated the RWA Mobil gas station on Route 3A in the Cedarville section of South Plymouth.
DeMacedo and his wife, Jennifer, have three children and two grandchildren.
"Vinny deMacedo is an exemplary public servant and while he will be sorely missed in the Legislature, I am happy he is bringing his talents to one of the jewels of the Commonwealth's higher education system," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. "He cares about others and that's why he is a pleasure to be around and to work with. And any organization is lucky to have him as part of the team. I'm thrilled for Vinny, Jennifer, and their family."
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