In 12th Suffolk, incumbent Cullinane faces two challengers

Read questionnaires filled out by all three candidates

The race for the 12th Suffolk House District is under way, awaiting the Sept. 8 primary pitting incumbent Rep. Daniel Cullinane against challengers Jovan Lacet and Carlotta Williams. All three are running as Democrats with prior campaign experience.

Cullinane, of Dorchester, has served the 12th Suffolk since 2013 after being elected with 75 percent of the vote in the general election. He was re-elected in 2014. He credits his successful campaigns to strong community relationships and highlights his work on providing youth jobs, mental health services, the Haitian Housing Clinic, Mattapan Square beautification, and Ventura Park.

Lacet, a practicing attorney based in Mattapan, has lived in Mattapan and Dorchester for 45 years. He is running on a platform of bringing equal resources and community engagement to the district, citing public safety, senior care programs, and CORI reform among his priorities.

Williams, who also goes by C.C., is a Columbus, Ohio, native currently living in Hyde Park. This is her second run for the 12th Suffolk post, after she lost in the 2014 primary. She highlights as her priorities assisting disadvantaged populations like those who are homeless and struggling with substance abuse.

The Reporter asked each of the candidates to fill out a questionnaire that would re-introduce them to the community they hope to represent. Portions of the questionnaire are excerpted and edited for clarity below, with all questions and answers available in full below in PDF form.

Q. Please describe your professional background.

Daniel Cullinane: From 2013 to present, I have had the incredible honor of serving as the state representative of the 12th Suffolk District working each day on behalf of the hardworking residents of Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and Milton as their voice in the State House. (Among Cullinane’s listed jobs: Committee to Elect Linda Dorcena Forry, Field Director; Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Fair Labor Division, Investigator; Office of State Representative Martin J. Walsh, 13th Suffolk District, Director of Constituent Services)

Jovan Lacet: I proudly served my country in the US Marines, I worked as a mentor and coordinator of a youth non-violence program at the Roxbury YMCA during part of my last two years at UMass Boston, 1990 to 1992. As a Boston Police Officer, I served and protected the Boston Community that I grew up in with pride and distinction. As a nineteen-year practicing attorney, much of my weekly work is pro bono work.

Carlotta Williams: I currently work for Boston Health Care for the homeless where I have been employed well over 25 years. I presently assist disabled homeless citizens apply for Social Security benefits in hopes of improving the quality of their lives.

Q. What would be your top priority if elected?

Cullinane: Continuing my advocacy on keeping and improving the Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line, which reliably serves the vast majority of the 12th Suffolk District, Mattapan, Milton, and Dorchester; working with all stakeholders and the community to ensure the successful development of the Mattapan MBTA parking lot property and the Cote Ford property; working to expand education, training, and job opportunities in the district; working to increase the minimum wage further and to improve employment standards.

Lacet: Public safety, education, employment and housing opportunities for 12th Suffolk residents.
Williams: To advocate for placement on committee assignments that reflect the work I have done for well over 25 years. A clear voice needs to be at the table with the right information. From the wide variety of work I have done over the years -- such as substance abuse, domestic violence, child welfare, health, education, housing, veteran services, and small businesses -- you would need someone who has a little bit of everything on the plate who could best serve the district.