Boston's State House delegation votes in Rep. Michlewitz as chair
Boston's State House delegation on Wednesday voted in state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz as chair.
The North End Democrat, who was unopposed in his bid, also serves as vice chairman of the House side of the Joint Committee on Transportation. Michlewitz, former aide in City Hall and constituent services director for former Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, was elected as state representative in 2009.
Traditionally, the position goes to a representative who doesn't hold a chairmanship or vice chairmanship, and is used to coordinate legislation and budget matters with City Hall officials.
The Boston delegation has 22 members. All are Democrats.
Michlewitz succeeds Michael Rush, a West Roxbury Democrat who was elected to the Senate and is headed to Iraq as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserves.
The selection of Michlewitz as chair was quiet compared to past debates over who gets the post. As the State House News Service wrote in 2005:
Because it can serve as a networking position, and as a gatekeeper for groups with Boston interests to reach House members, the chairmanship has stirred conflict before.
In 2003, after Brighton Rep. Kevin Honan's eight-year tenure as delegation chair ended when he took the helm of the Housing and Urban Development Committee, [then-Rep. Anthony] Petruccelli, of East Boston, sought the post in lieu of any ranking committee spots. Both [state Reps. Liz Malia and Marty Walsh] also showed interest in the chairmanship, but the trio smoothed out any conflict, with Petruccelli emerging as the pick.