State Senator Brian Joyce Announces He Won’t Seek Reelection

After a federal raid of his office, the Milton Senator will not seek another term.

There was a time when Milton Senator Brian Joyce was on an upward trajectory. He was firmly implanted in the leadership of the State Senate with a position as assistant majority leader, but then a series of news reports about his personal ethics started to drag him down.

Allegations of abusing his office in exchange for free goods, improper use of campaign finance funds, and a probe from the State Ethics Commission have dogged him for over a year, raising doubts about his future as one of the South Shore’s top elected officials.

Then, just a week ago, Joyce’s Senate came crashing down to Earth when a crew of federal agents raided his Canton law office. Federal law enforcement officials chalked up the raid to an ongoing and unspecified investigation.

Then on Tuesday, he announced in the Milton Times that he’s on the last leg of his political career.

“I have worked hard for Milton and achieved results, while always trying to abide by the rules. I will continue to work hard for Milton and all of the district but will not seek re-election,” the senator said Feb. 22. “On a personal note, Mary and I are very touched by the many kind gestures of support and love from our neighbors and friends.”

Of course, this announcement came after news broke that his political rival, Milton State Rep. Walter Timilty, pulled papers to run in the primary against Joyce in the fall:

“I am a candidate for the Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth seat in the Massachusetts State Senate. My decision to run for the state Senate is not a recent one but became official today when I secured nomination papers from the Office of the Secretary of State.

I have always been committed to the belief that all citizens should be accorded the right to be heard, to know that their vote matters and are deserving of full and active representation. I look forward to demonstrating this commitment though my service to the people of this district.”

In an interview with State House News Service, Timilty said he had no prior knowledge of Joyce’s decision to not seek reelection. Timlity is all but guaranteed to win the seat this fall, given his strength in Milton and a lack of serious viable opponents.

The Joyce debacle is a blemish on what has been an up-and-down period for the State Senate. The body’s relatively new leader, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, has been beset by an endless string of stories about his personal life while maneuvering to strengthen the legislative body’s position on Beacon Hill.  Rosenberg declined calls to pressure Joyce to resign from his post, but on Tuesday he cleared the air in a statement:

“Senator Joyce has served the constituents of his district for more than 20 years.  A strong supporter of public education, throughout his career he fought to secure funding for public school buildings across his district.  In addition, he cared deeply for senior citizens and protecting the disabled. He took tough votes against public opinion on numerous issues including marriage equality and the death penalty.  I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

For now, Joyce will ride out the remainder of his term with a large cloud of suspicion hanging over him.