By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Scanlon’s first day on the job was much like many others—he met his colleagues, set up his e-mail, got his picture taken at the new office.
Oh, and he cast his vote on the new Speaker of the House.
Jan. 6 saw Scanlon—formerly a Town Councilor and member of the School Committee—took his Oath of Office as the new as the new state representative for the 14th Bristol District. He succeeds Betty Poirier, who was in the role for more than 20 years. Prior to Betty serving in this role, her husband Kevin Poirier was state representative for 20 years.
“Representative Scanlon is thankful for the decades-long efforts of the Poirier family in serving the district and he is eager to begin serving as the new voice for the 14th Bristol District on Beacon Hill,” said a statement from Scanlon’s office.
Scanlon, 24, has seen the interior of the State House before, but described being there as part of the legislature as somewhat surreal. One takeaway was how many of his fellow representatives weren’t able to attend in person due to the pandemic.
“We’re walking into a number of challenges and need all hands on deck to address those challenges,” he said.
Scanlon defeated Republican challenger John Simmons to become the first Democratic representative for the district in 40 years, as well as the youngest member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He traveled to the State House on Wednesday with fellow representative Ted Phillips. Scanlon and Phillips, along with State Rep. Jay Barrows, each represent precincts of Mansfield. The 14th district is also comprised of North Attleboro and one precinct of Attleboro.
“Rep. Scanlon will ensure that North Attleboro, Attleboro and Mansfield maintain a strong presence on Beacon Hill,” the statement from his office read.
Scanlon’s first act as state representative was to cast his vote for Ronald Mariano—the former majority leader who represents the third Norfolk district—as the new Speaker of the House. In meeting other representatives, he sees that they’re all facing similar issues and that it’s important to be open to other points of view.
“It reminds me that everyone has a very unique perspective to things,” said Scanlon.
In the coming weeks Scanlon plans to meet with small business owners, heads of departments, and nonprofit leaders. He’s working on legislation to allow public schools to start vocational programs and expand property tax exemptions for seniors and small businesses. He’ll also work on getting funding for full-day kindergarten and the schools.
“For me, it’s also about being a transparent member of the legislature,” he said.