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February 24, 2023

Coppinger heads for exit as latest lawmaker lured to MassBio

Photo | Courtesy of State House News Service Rep. Edward Coppinger of Boston, pictured in 2012, filed paperwork Thursday announcing he plans to resign effective Tuesday, Feb. 28. The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council hired him as its first-ever head of government affairs.

Rep. Edward Coppinger of West Roxbury announced Thursday he plans to resign from the House next week after more than a decade in office, and he's headed for a newly created job at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

The House clerk's office confirmed that Coppinger filed a letter of resignation at 12:07 p.m. Thursday, with his departure effective at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

A MassBIO spokesperson said Coppinger will join the industry group on March 1 as its first-ever head of government affairs, a position that will focus on state and federal policy issues.

Coppinger could not be reached immediately on Thursday. The voicemail message on a phone number attached to his campaign finance account said he was away for the current school vacation week.

First elected in 2010 after winning a five-way Democratic primary, Coppinger recently started his sixth term in the House representing parts of Boston's West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods as well as parts of neighboring Brookline. He worked as a residential mortgage loan officer and served on several community boards before his election to the House.

Coppinger co-chaired the Legislature's Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business last session, but did not receive a leadership post nor an assignment to a single committee when House Democrats unveiled their full listt last week.

He becomes the first member of the 193rd General Court to make his resignation official, beating fellow Boston delegation member Rep. Jon Santiago, whom Gov. Maura Healey picked as her veterans' services secretary with a March 1 start date, to the punch. Santiago still had not filed a formal resignation notice as of Thursday afternoon.

The House will need to schedule special elections to fill both the Ninth Suffolk District that Santiago represents and the 10th Suffolk District that Coppinger represents. Both are poised to be vacant for weeks, leaving tens of thousands of constituents without House representation in the chamber's upcoming state budget debate.

Two people have filed paperwork with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance in the past eight days to launch runs for the 10th Suffolk District that Coppinger will vacate: Brian Gaillardetz and David Giordano, both of West Roxbury.

Coppinger is also the latest lawmaker to take a job with the influential lobbying organization representing the life sciences industry after their tenure on Beacon Hill.

Former Sen. Joe Boncore resigned from his elected office in September 2021 to become the organization's CEO, a role he held for a bit more than a year before stepping down and being succeeded by Kendalle Burlin O'Connell.

Before Boncore, former Rep. Robert Coughlin and former House Speaker Thomas Finneran led MassBIO.

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