Politics

Lawrence’s Dan Rivera Says Bill Galvin Told Him, “I Made You Mayor”

Galvin reportedly called Rivera after he endorsed Josh Zakim for secretary of state.


William Galvin. Photo via AP/Charles Krupa

William Galvin is (allegedly) not very happy with people endorsing Josh Zakim.

The secretary of state, who is facing a primary challenger for the first time in more than a decade, lashed out at a mayor who endorsed his political opponent, according to the State House News Service. After Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera endorsed Zakim, the Boston city councilor challenging Galvin for his job, the secretary of state allegedly called Rivera and engaged him in a contentious, critical exchange.

Rivera said Galvin told him, “I made you mayor,” a comment that did not sit well with the Lawrence official.

“He didn’t come knock on doors for me,” Rivera told State House News. “I’m pretty sure my team is the reason we won that first election by 81 votes. … He proceeded to say he sent people up here to make the election fair, and I said, ‘That’s your job.’”

Galvin did not respond to State House News’s request for comment, and Rivera said the conversation, which eventually became crass, reinforced his decision to endorse Zakim. Galvin has held office in Massachusetts since 1975, when he was elected to the state House of Representatives. He has served as secretary of state since 1994 and hasn’t faced a primary challenger since 2006, when he handily beat the attorney John Bonifaz.

While Galvin chose not to respond to Rivera’s story, Zakim did, telling SHNS, “We’re proud of the wide and diverse support we’ve received so far. Anyone who chooses to back my opponent won’t hear anything from me other than gratitude for choosing to be part of the process.”

In November, Zakim announced he would challenge Galvin for his job, emphasizing the need “for a new era of leadership on Beacon Hill focused on inclusion,” according to the Boston Globe. Mounting a primary challenge to a long-term Democratic incumbent like Galvin is not an easy task, though Zakim’s famous last name could prove helpful in garnering voters’ attention. The state primaries will take place on September 4.