(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–With John Kerry’s departure from the U.S. Senate to become Secretary of State, Massachusetts loses a lot of political clout.
John Kerry has served in the U.S. Senate since 1985.
He is number seven on the senate seniority list and served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
With the late Senator Edward Kennedy, Kerry and Kennedy carried plenty of clout on Capitol Hill.
And a lot of that clout brought home the bacon to projects throughout Western Massachusetts.
With Kerry moving on to Secretary of State and with Ted Kennedy gone, there’s a big political void to fill.
Will that lack of experience and seniority hurt Western Massachusetts?
Peter Fairman is a Political Science Professor at western New England University,”It will have an impact, I think the impact is a little overrated,” says Fairman,”I think it will have an impact in committee assignments, you mentioned bringing home the bacon, that’s where it would have an impact , you’re unlikely to get seats on the Appropriations Committee or these other committees that hand out money, so it would have an impact there,” says Fairman.
It would have less of an impact says Professor Fairman on policy decisions.
Paul Caron is a former state representative and now works as a political consultant.
He says the state’s experienced Congressional delegation will help offset the lack of seniority at the senate level,”The state as a whole works collectively, there will be a learning curve for Elizabeth Warren and whoever ends up in John Kerry’s senate seat but there’s a strong congressional delegation to help,” says Caron.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno sees firsthand how important federal funding is for city projects.
He is still optimistic about the future now that Massachusetts has lost 28 years of John Kerry’s seniority in the senate,”We’re known for being skillful and respected as a delegation in Congress and the Senate so we’ll be able to hold our own,” says Sarno.
So John Kerry moves from Senate to Secretary of State.
Who will fill his Senate shoes remains to be seen.