Springfield City Councilor Melvin Edwards announces candidacy for state representative to replace Cheryl Coakley-Rivera in 10th Hampden District - MassLive.com

SPRINGFIELD — Ward 3 City Councilor Melvin Edwards announced his candidacy for state representative in the 10th Hampden District on Wednesday, seeking to replace Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, D-Springfield. 

Edwards, 54, of 20 Dexter St., in the Maple High-Six Corners area, said he pledges to continue his “steadfast commitment” to constituent services and accessibility if elected to the state Legislature in November.

“I am eager to seek an opportunity to continue my service to the citizens of Springfield as a member of the State Legislature” Edwards said. “It is my belief that elected officials are responsible first and foremost to their constituents, and in order to serve those constituents one must make themselves available to listen to the voices of those they serve, and to then work hard on their behalf.”

Coakley-Rivera recently announced her resignation, saying she will work as assistant clerk for Hampden County Clerk of Courts Laura Gentile. There will not be a special election to fill her seat.


Carlos Gonzalez, who is president of the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce, has stated he also plans to run for Coakley-Rivera's seat in the fall election.

Edwards is now serving his third, two-year term on the City Council.

Edwards said he has a decade-long involvement in nonprofit and service-based organizations as part of his commitment to the community.

“My work extends far beyond the City Council,” he said.

Edwards is president of the Maple High-Six Corners Neighborhood Council and the nonprofit Keep Springfield Beautiful, as well as the Armory Alliance. Edwards is also vice-chairman of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Board of Directors. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors of Springfield Partners for Community Action, HAP Housing, and the Springfield Preservation Trust.

Edwards is a member of the Hampden County Sheriff’s “Chess Program,” the Chancellor of UMass Diversity Committee, and the Ward 3 Democratic Committee.

Edwards said he has a record of supporting community organziations and working on environmental issues, and for leadership in the aftermath of the 2011 tornado that affected a large part of his ward and the district.

Edwards said that within hours of the tornado, he was walking the district with housing officials to assess the damage. He said he served as a liaison between those in the community and those who could provide help, and held public meetings, and pledged "the same work ethic and passion when it comes to the issues" faced in the State House.

He pledged to be a "champion for the issues of my constituents."

"The city is poised for great things and that movement forward will require bold leadership, and collaboration among our Western Massachusetts delegation," Edwards said. "I will bring those issues to the State House and I will fight for them on the floor of the House of Representatives. I will not shy away from the decisions that I will face, and I promise the voters that I will continue to work hard, to listen and to make service to others paramount."

Read the story at MassLive here

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