Rep. Andy Vargas Talks First Term House Priorities, Brian Dempsey Support

Newly-elected Rep. Andy Vargas (right) is sworn in by Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday, Nov. 15. (Courtesy photograph)

Sworn in as the newest state representative for the 3rd Essex District Wednesday, Andy Vargas has already hit the ground running on Beacon Hill.

Hours after taking the oath of office, the 24-year-old House newcomer voted on a series of issues that marked his official entry into the House fray.

“It’s an exciting time for Haverhill and we can really make some moves if we put the right people in the right places,” Vargas told WHAV.

Currently assembling his transition team and seeking out a legislative aide, Vargas said his predecessor, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Brian S. Dempsey, has proved to be an invaluable asset.

“Brian has been tremendous. He’s been willing to provide his guidance and support and I’m really grateful for that,” Vargas said. “We’ve met a couple times and he’s provided invaluable historical and institutional knowledge that I’ll be taking with me to the Statehouse.”

City residents need not be concerned about the fiscal hole left as a result of Dempsey’s departure, says Vargas. In an effort to bridge the gap, the politician is already leveraging existing relationships with his Statehouse colleagues, including Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, the current House Ways and Means chairman.

“Like any freshman representative that goes in, it’s going to be tough to bring in the type of funding that chairman Dempsey was able to bring in, but there’s a good opportunity now to work together with our delegation to pass legislation that isn’t just good for Haverhill but good for all of our gateway cities in the Commonwealth,” Vargas told WHAV.

“I’m going to spend the next few weeks figuring out the best way to build on those coalitions and what really has momentum right now that is pertinent to the issues of Haverhill,” he added. “I’m looking forward to working with stakeholders who are willing to help push Haverhill forward.”