Cape Verdean attorney launching candidacy for Henriquez seat

An attorney with roots in Cape Verde is jumping into the race to replace former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez. Evandro Carvalho, who lives in Fields Corner with his fiancé Ashley, emigrated from Cape Verde at age 15.

“I came to Boston speaking no English and my mother worked three jobs to support my siblings and I,” Carvalho said in a statement. “Through hard work, and the opportunities provided to me through bilingual education, technical vocational school and after school college prep programs, I was able to get into college and eventually graduate from law school. I want to help strengthen our communities by ensuring that every resident has the opportunities they need to build a quality life: access to jobs with decent wages to support a family; affordable housing options and financial assistance to help our residents buy homes in our community; and a quality education for every child that gives them their best chance to succeed.”

Carvalho is a board member for Teen Empowerment and volunteers for the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. His resume includes a stint as an assistant district attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Carvalho already has at least one endorsement lined up: Wayne Budd, the former U.S. attorney and former president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, who said in a statement that Carvalho is “one of the most passionate and experienced young leaders coming up in our community.”

The special election is set for April 29, though the Democratic make-up of the district will put the spotlight on the April 1 primary.

Henriquez, who was elected to the Fifth Suffolk District in 2010, was ejected from his House seat last week. Henriquez is serving six months in jail after being found guilty of two counts of assault and battery, stemming from a 2012 incident. According to state Rep. Russell Holmes, Henriquez is interested in running for the seat again.

Carvalho and Karen Charles, chief of staff at the state Department of Telecommunications and Cable, have pulled nomination papers, according to the secretary of state's office, which oversees elections.

Jennifer Johnson, a Meetinghouse Hill Democrat, has opened up a campaign finance account with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. She said Wednesday she is "still exploring" a run.