School Committee member John Ford announced Monday that he will not be a candidate for the vacant state representative seat in the Eleventh District that includes Lynn and Nahant.
Ford, 68, was considered a formidable candidate for the position that was previously held by Steve Walsh. Ford has served as an aide to Walsh and continues to work at the State House assisting constituents.
Ford has been a proven vote getter during his seven successful elections for a seat on the School Committee. Ford’s avid support of Lynn high school and youth sports teams, his years of experience on the School Committee and in city organizations, and the popularity of his family including his sister, Joanne Eagan, principal of the Sacred Heart School, and his cousin, Ward 7 City Councilor Rick Ford, established a solid foundation for a candidacy for the representative seat.
Walsh’s likely endorsement would have provided a boost to Ford’s campaign for the seat. It’s also been a good time for aides to step forward and be elected to office. RoseLee Vincent, aide to former State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein was recently elected to the House of Representatives. Dan Ryan (D-Charlestown), aide to Congressman Michael Capuano, was victorious in a special election for the Charlestown-Chelsea state representative seat in April.
“I gave it a lot of thought and consideration but over the last week while I was at the Cape spending time with my grandkids, I decided not to run,” said Ford.
Ford said he enjoys supporting the endeavors of his five grandchildren: former Lynn Classical football star Quivari Jackson, 24, who is playing football at Framingham State, Chelsey Ford, 21, Connor Donohue, 12, Jason Donohue, 10, and Alivia Ford-Hyde, 7. Ford and his wife, Sheila, have four daughters, Kathleen and Jennifer, who are Lynn schoolteachers, Tina, and Valerie.
Ford previously ran for state representative in 2001, finishing a strong second to Walsh. He understood that a campaign for the vacant seat would be virtually a full-time effort from May through the primary election in September. School Committee member Charlie Gallo, Councilor-at-Large Brendan Crighton, and former Councilor-at-Large candidate Katerina Panagiotakis Koudanis are running for the seat.
“I was encouraged by the response I had received for a campaign,” said Ford. “Three people had volunteered to be my campaign manager and people had asked about making donations. I feel I would have been a strong candidate.”
Ford is looking forward to continuing his service on the School Committee.
“The district is being run very well by our superintendent of schools, Catherine Latham,” said Ford. “Overall she’s done a great job and we’re seeing a lot of improvements in the Lynn school system. And our mayor [Judith Flanagan Kennedy] is a very strong supporter of our schools. I love being a member of the School Committee and enjoy helping our students learn and succeed.”