Reading Selectman Ben Tafoya will announce his future political plans with an official announcement on Monday. But in an interview with Patch on Wednesday, he gave an indication as to which way he is leaning.
Katherine Clark won a seat as a 5th Congressional District U.S. Senator on Tuesday during a special election to fill the role vacated by Ed Markey. Though Reading residents didn’t have a say in that election, it will impact them as Clark was a state senator whose coverage area included Reading.
Tafoya said in the past that if Clark were to win the special election, he would consider running as a replacement for her seat. Whether he officially intends to run is the announcement that is expected on Monday.
“Since Katherine won the primary won in October, I’ve been working very hard to help her earn the election victory she secured yesterday,” said Tafoya. “I’ve also been taking some time to talk to people in other cities and towns to see what’s on their mind and what I might be able to add to the discussion. I’m very pleased with what I’ve heard so far and am pretty confident I’m going to be moving forward with the candidacy.”
The schedule for filling Clark’s state senate seat begins this week, according to Tafoya. The selectman said that as he understands it, Clark will be sworn in to her new role in Washington, D.C., either Thursday or Friday. Once that takes place, she will resign her state senate role and Massachusetts leaders will determine how the seat will be filled.
It is possible a special election could take place in the spring with a primary held in advance of it, or it’s possible the seat could be left vacant until an election next November.
As far as his duties in Reading, Tafoya said that will also be a part of his Monday announcement. Candidates for April’s local election can begin pulling papers to get on the ballot next Wednesday. If a senate run is in the cards, Tafoya’s name likely won’t be on the selectman ballot for the first time in nearly a decade.
If Tafoya doesn’t run for re-election in Reading, he will be the second selectman to announce that decision within the last few weeks. Board of Selectman chairman James Bonazoli will not run either.
“The greatest honor of my professional life has been the capability of serving Reading for the last nine years,” said Tafoya. “I’ve tried every day to give something back to the community, and not just with the meetings but by supporting the efforts of the hundreds of people that make this town run. On a statewide basis, I really enjoy this kind of challenge, and that’s why I think I may have something to offer that is special for this opening.”