Joshua Dawson, Democratic candidate for State Representative of the 8th Suffolk District, will officially launch his campaign at a kickoff event today at Lir Restaurant.
Dawson will be joined by campaign co-chairs Democratic State Committeewoman Ann Roosevelt and City Councilor Mike Ross, along with special guest State Treasurer Steve Grossman, whom Dawson previously worked for as executive director. The event, at 903 Boylston St., will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Dawson is the third Democratic candidate to enter the race for what was Marty Walz seat until this month. Walz left the Legislature to take a job as president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Democrats Jay Livingstone and Nils Tracy, both attorneys who live on Beacon Hill, have also entered the race. The three candidates will hold their first debate April 23. The debate, sponsored by the Boston Ward 3 and Ward 5 Democratic Committees, will be from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at the Community Church of Boston, at 565 Boylston St. It will be moderated by Beacon Hill writer Karen Cord Taylor.
Dawson, a Back Bay resident and former chair of the Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee, says that if elected he will work to make Greater Boston the best place in which to work, live, raise a family, educate children, and grow a business. His campaign will focus on the need for better education opportunities, transportation infrastructure, and growing the region’s innovation economy, according to information from his communications director, Xakota Espinoza.
"With its rich cultural history, boundless human capital and vibrant institutions, the 8th Suffolk district deserves a representative with the energy and experience to get things done at the State House,” Dawson said.
Dawson is currently the outgoing executive director of State Treasurer Steve Grossman’s political committee. Dawson got to know the treasurer after he became active in Grossman's 2010 campaign. Since Grossman’s election, Josh has managed the day-to-day political and fundraising activities for the treasurer and has earned his endorsement.
Likewise, he holds the support of Roosevelt and Ross. "His passion for progressive ideals and his deep commitment to his community will make him an extraordinary state representative, and I am honored to co-chair his campaign," Roosevelt said in a press release.
Ross expressed similar enthusiasm: "His experience as a legislative and budget director in the state senate, combined with his fine character and deep sense of community service, will provide for impeccable representation of our neighborhoods on Beacon Hill,” said Ross. “For these, and many other reasons, I am proud to co-chair his campaign for state representative."
Prior to his position with the Grossman Committee, Dawson worked as legislative and budget director for State Senator Thomas P. Kennedy (D-Brockton). In his role with Kennedy, he was the point-of-contact for all of Kennedy’s committee assignments, legislation, and budget issues for a constituency of 160,000 people.
Dawson was raised in a union family in Fostoria, Ohio, where he went on to double major in French and politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University.