Boston’s Fresh-Faced State Senators

Linda Dorcena Forry joins the six state senators who represent parts of Boston.

By winning yesterday’s special election, Linda Dorcena Forry is set to officially join Boston’s six-member state Senate delegation.

Only two of the six districts that include a portion of the city are exclusively Boston-comprised; whether coincidentally or not, those two senators—Forry and Sonia Chang-Diaz—are the only two women among the six (the Senate as a whole will now have 12 women out of 40, or 30 percent) and the only black and Hispanic senators in the group.

They are also the youngest of the six, at 39 and 35 years old, respectively. But that youth—and the newness to the job—actually fits in very well with the Boston delegation.

Five of the six were born in the 1970s: along with Forry and Chang-Diaz, Anthony Petruccelli and Mike Rush are 40, and Sal DiDomenico is 41. Will Brownsberger, at 56, is the exception. Note that the two oldest don’t actually live in Boston, for whatever that’s worth—DiDomenico resides in Everett, Brownsberger in Belmont.

Petruccelli, who arrived via a special election in July 2007, has become the dean of the group before reaching his six-year anniversary. Chang-Diaz, who took office in January 2009, is next, followed by DiDomenico (May 2010), Rush (January 2011), Brownsberger (January 2012), and now Forry. Note that four of the six came in via special election, with Chang-Diaz ousting an incumbent (Dianne Wilkerson) and only Rush winning the “normal” way, in a regular election with a vacancy (to replace Marian Walsh).

Forry also raises to two the number of Boston-college-educated senators—and Boston College-educated ones—in the Boston delegation, along with DiDomenico. (BC High alums drop to just one, Anthony Petruccelli, with the departure of Jack Hart). The rest took their BAs from across the river (Brownsberger, Harvard), elsewhere in New England (Rush, Providence College), or even farther (Chang-Diaz, University of Virginia; Petruccelli, University of Rochester).

And finally, Forry is the fourth of the six to come to the Senate via the House of Representatives, where she has served since 2005. Chang-Diaz and DiDomenico are the two who skipped that step.