Sullivan, Toohey Openly Considering Dempsey House Seat

School Committeeman Shaun P. Toohey, left, and Thomas J. Sullivan are among those contemplating a run in an, as yet, unscheduled special election to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Brian S. Dempsey.

In the aftermath of the surprising announcement by Rep. Brian S. Dempsey that he will resign in September for a new job, a few names have bubbled to the top as possible contenders for the seat.

Among them are Haverhill City Councilors Andy Vargas and Thomas J. Sullivan and School Committee members Scott W. Wood Jr. and Shaun P. Toohey. Sullivan, who has 20 years of legislative experience working as an aide to former state Rep. Frank Emilio and former Sen. James P. Jajuga, was one of few who admitted to openly considering a run.

“I am interested in exploring the seat, but that it is too important a decision to make on the spot and I need to think about it,” Sullivan said.

Toohey also said he isn’t ruling anything out.

“I wish Brian the best of luck in his new endeavor and believe Brian represented Haverhill very well and will be missed,” he said. “I love serving the citizens of Haverhill and I am keeping all of my options open,” Toohey added.

Wood declined to comment and Vargas, the city’s first Latino city councilor, is currently away on his wedding honeymoon.

Since the Third Essex House district excludes Bradford, incumbent City Councilors Melinda E. Barrett and Colin F. LePage and School Committee member Gail M. Sullivan would be ineligible to run if they were considering higher office.

In September, Dempsey will become senior vice president and chief operating officer at ML Strategies, a wholly-owned consulting subsidiary of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

No dates for special primary or final elections has been set.

11 thoughts on “Sullivan, Toohey Openly Considering Dempsey House Seat

    • New blood would probably mean Vargas. If i have to listen to Blowhard Bevilaqua or Sideshow Shawn Toohey all fall, I’ll need psychotherapy! Talk about 2 bs artist who love the sound of their own voices.